President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has blamed Nigeria’s 1-0 loss to Benin Republic in the first leg of their 2018 CHAN qualifier in Cotonou on poor officiating.
The Super Eagles fell to a surprise defeat in the hands of the Beninoise much to the dismay of Pinnick who was also present at the match venue where he told reporters that he has forwarded complaints about the officiating to relevant authorities.
The NFF boss said: “The officiating was very poor and I have notified the authorities concerning it.
“I wasn’t really impressed with our players. I don’t know what happened. They are all very highly rated players, some of the best in our league but to me they didn’t live up to expectations.
“Some of those factors like the officiating must have affected them. But like I said, we will do everything possible in the second leg to make sure we qualify for CHAN.
“I believe we will do our best on the second leg in Kano.
“But I can say emphatically that the officiating was very poor and the turf too affected our game but we will be able to overcome those two challenges in the next game and qualify. By God’s grace we are going to work hard to make sure we qualify.”