2014 World Cup (4): That Nigeria-Herzegovina Match: What actually happened with the refereeing?

June 22, 2014


Bosnia-Herzegovina eliminated from World Cup with help from another bad offside call – Brooks Peck

DIRTY TACKLE/yahoo sports



Amidst the avalanche of goals and delightfully absurd matches has been some pretty terrible officiating at the 2014 World Cup and the Group F match between Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina suffered for it. About 20 minutes into the match, a goal from Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko (wearing white in the image below) was disallowed for offside, but replays showed that the goal should have been allowed to stand.

Less than 10 minutes later, Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike appeared to catch the heels of Bosnia captain Emir Spahic as he went around him to execute a brilliant pass to Peter Odemwingie for a goal. The referee had his whistle in his mouth and seemed ready to call it back for the foul, but never did. This, of course, added to Bosnia’s frustration in a match that ultimately ended with their second loss and elimination from their first World Cup when a shot from Dzeko at the death was miraculously kept out by Nigeria keeper Vincent Enyeama.

One World Cup linesman has already been dropped for his two controversial offside calls against Mexico earlier in the tournament. And now he might have someone to keep him company.

Nigeria currently sits second in Group F with four points behind Argentina, who sealed their place in the knockout stage with a win over Iran earlier in the day.


SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2014.  8:21 p.m. [GMT]


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2 Comments on “2014 World Cup (4): That Nigeria-Herzegovina Match: What actually happened with the refereeing?”

  1. Fatai F Bakare Says:

    I so much love you ma because you are always an unbiased commentator and an impartial judge. You are my proud mum any day. No team goes to the world cup competition and comes back home defeated. However, no how well a team play, a winner must emerge and the referees have very vital roles to play. Gone are those days, when officiating officials will take bribe to please the highest bidder. If it still happens, it will be a high profile occurrence and very minimal. However, in matches and others of these nature, we cannot rule out genuine mistakes on the parts of the officials. They are human beings and highly fallible.

    Over-ruling of Dzeko’s goal was a genuine mistake on the part of the referee and if not that it was repeated several times, nobody would not have known that it was not an offside. For the Emenike-Bosnia captain struggles within the eighteen yard box, it was a fifty-fifty chance of blowing fouls against any of them. In actual fact the captain started it first, dragging Emenike back by his shoulder, but the latter is a rugged, intimidating and bullying striker, he would not have succeeded in making that vital pass to Odewinge which resulted in the only goal of the match.

    The officials must have watched the scene of the disallowed goal during the half time break and usually they always want to compensate the team. Probably, that was why he did not blow foul against thy captain and more so that Emenike managed himself out and did not fall down. If it were some other slick strikers, they would have gone down and that would have been a penalty.

    If that last minute attempt by Dzeko had not been prevented from going into the net by Enyeama, it would have been an expensive mistake on the part of the referee. If you can recapitulate very well, Dzeko used his Maradona left hand (in the glaring watchful eyes of the referee) to bring the ball back from slipping away from him to turn round and make that weak but dangerous shot which was prevented by experience from creeping into the net by our daring goalkeeper. If the referee had not been shown the way to his country by now, he is just too lucky for that deliberate mistake which would have allowed Bosnia to equalize.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      A million thanks, as always but the praises this time, if deserved, belongs to Brooks Peck for yahoo sports although the title is mine. The real title, Bosnia-Herzegovina eliminated from World Cup with help from another bad offside has nothing to hide about implied “dirty business”. The title I used, as always, is to grab attention as I look for stories that interest me and that are relevant to what’s in the news to add to essays that I write for my blog.

      I like your Para 3 about the official’s “compensating” with an allowed foul but I do not think any game would or should allow that kind of compensating; that actually makes two wrongs which, as the saying goes in regular life, do not make a right. Your in-depth analysis, as always, is greatly appreciated and should be enjoyed by blog readers.

      Regards, as always,



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