Former Super Eagles captain and coach, Sunday Oliseh, and fans have faulted the decision of the Video Assistant Referee in the final Group A fixture between Nigeria and France at the ongoing Women’s World Cup.
The match, played on Monday, saw France defeat Nigeria 1-0 through a retaken penalty.
The Super Falcons, who were reduced to 10 players after Ngozi Ebere’s expulsion, held France for most of the game but conceded a penalty in the 75th minute.
Wendie Renard of France missed her first kick, but referee Melissa Paola Pastrana, after a VAR check, ordered a retake.
The referee also issued a yellow card to goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie for not keeping a foot on the line.
However, an image that surfaced online showed that five players were also inside the box when the penalty was taken.
Oliseh said, “I am extremely proud of our Super Falcons versus France at the World Cup. These girls gave it everything against a French side cheered on by a near full stadium and a doubtful retaken penalty. I am sad, disappointed, but proud of these girls!”
Fans complained that the presence of the French players in the box should have also nullified the penalty.
Reacting, James Daniel Malin in a post retweeted by assistant captain of the Super Falcons, Asisat Oshoala, said, “Farcical VAR decision again! Keeper marginally off line as penalty taken and receives yellow card but nothing said about French players in the box!”
Tobi Ibraheem replying to Malin and Oshoala’s tweets said, “This new FIFA rule has brought nothing but more confusion to the game. It’s simply needless.”
Danny said, “The Falcons were unbroken until everything played against them including FIFA officials/VAR.”
“Even in the West, they are not happy. Some French celebrities feel so disappointed. We were robbed,” Babajide Orevba added.
Oruoma Odum said, “It is always this way. I think FIFA should try and train the female referees properly on being unbiased. Women are akin to sentiments, likeness and emotional. I am still proud of our Falcons. There is room for improvement.”