Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has hit out at referee Mark Geiger in the wake of his side’s 2-0 World Cup round-of-16 loss against France at Estadio Mane Garrincha on Monday.
The official failed to spot an alleged elbow from Olivier Giroud against John Obi Mikel, while he opted to show Blaise Matuidi a yellow card rather than a red card after a reckless tackle on Ogenyi Onazi in midfield, after the Lazio man had already sustained a knock following a collision with Paul Pogba.
Emmanuel Emenike also saw a goal disallowed for offside during the first half when replays apeeared to show he was level with Patrice Evra, leaving Keshi less than impressed with the officials.
“The referee made a lot of mistakes and that is questionable. I am not happy with it,” the 52-year-old fumed at the post-match press conference.
“He was not good. He is a human being, but it was not good. He decides what’s happening on the pitch.
“Onazi was tackled recklessly twice. He will be out for weeks. But the referee didn’t do anything.
“This is the first time ever I talk about a referee like this, but he was bad.
“I wasn’t sure [Emenike]’s disallowed goal was offside and would love to know why the referee cancelled it.
“It’s painful to lose like this. I don’t think we deserved to lose like this. But that’s football.”
As a parting message, Keshi thanked the Brasilia contingent for their support against les Bleus and suggested that the Super Eagles felt almost like the host nation at times during the tournament.
“I cannot ask for a better support than what we got today from the Brazilians. They were wonderful and were always behind us. It’s almost as if we were a Brazilian team. I thank them for everything.”