Kenya coach Adel Amrouche is not happy with the officiating of the match they played against Nigeria on Saturday in a Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier.
The Belgian believes that the style of officiating cost them the full points.
The official, who spoke with The PUNCH in Calabar, said that new rules were introduced into the game different from the FIFA regulations he had always known.
He said, “My team played the last 10 minutes without me; it is tough for any team playing like that. I was asked to leave at the time they needed me most. My absence caused us a lot.
“I am not saying that if I was not ejected we would have won the game. No I don’t like to argue with the “if” word in football. In football anything can happen. But what I am sure of is that they destabilised my plans. They left my team without the coordinating I was doing. But of course I was not surprised. So many things happen with African rules.
“Before the game started, the same official on the side came to give rules of the game that I never knew from anywhere. During the game, he came to warn me on how to give my players water, insisting they should be the ones coming out for it. Then they finished it up with sending me off.”
The coach said that it was the first time he had seen a sending off without any previous card.
“I was asking for explanation because I was not issued any card. But instead I was just sent away in a strange way. I was talking to my players and didn’t infringe on any other person’s territory. Or is there any rule that says a coach cannot stand at the lines and talk to his players all through the game? It was a funny decision.”
The Harambee Stars took the lead in the first half. The goal shook the Eagles bench and left fans at the UJ Esuene Stadium wondering how the match would end.
Nigeria, crowned African Nations Cup champions just last month, needed a dramatic late equaliser to rescue a 1-1 home draw with bottom team Kenya whom fans had expected would be blown away. At the end the fans had to pray for an equaliser all through.
Substitute Nnamdi Oduamadi, who plays for Italian second-tier club Varese, scored three minutes into stoppage time to save the Nigerians from an embarrassing defeat. The match was Nigeria’s first since their success at the Nations Cup.