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Soft penalty outrages Onazi

Ogenyi Onazi has slammed the officiating at the Africa Cup of Nations, after Nigeria conceded a dubious late penalty to draw with Zambia.

The Lazio midfielder, who was converted to a right back for the encounter with the defending champions, was adjudged by Egyptian referee Grisha Ghead to have fouled Zambia’s Emmanuel Mayuka just on the edge of the box in their AFCON clash on Friday.

Television replays showed that it was a contestable call.

“It wasn’t a penalty because this is not how a penalty is given,” Onazi told Goal.com.

“We were both struggling for the ball and it wasn’t even inside the 18 yard box but the referee just gave out the penalty. It’s unfair.”

The 20-year-old also confirmed what many in the Nigeria camp have been feeling – that the Super Eagles have been picked upon by the officials. They had a tough time with the referee in their first game against Burkina Faso last Monday as well.

“Of course, this issue has to be taken to the table. It’s unfair that the referees are behaving this way towards us,” Onazi concluded.

Nigeria will take on Ethiopia in final group game on Tuesday, searching for a victory to sew up a quarter-final berth.

Sat 26 January, 2013
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