Egypt manager Carlos Queiroz has lashed out at referee Bakary Gassama following the Pharaohs’ defeat to Nigeria in their opening game of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Egypt couldn’t have asked for a worse start to their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in terms of both result and performance.
The Pharaohs fell to a 1-0 defeat against Nigeria, thanks to a goal from Kelechi Iheanacho late in the first-half.
The Super Eagles were by far the more dangerous side for the entirety of the encounter and could’ve increased the gap if it wasn’t for Mohamed El-Shennawy’s heroic performance.
While failing to create many chances, Egypt had a penalty shout after Zizo was brought down inside the Nigerian penalty box by Moses Simon; however, the referee whistled for a foul on the Zamalek winger instead.
Despite the pressure of the Egyptian players, referee Bakary Gassama awarded the foul to Nigeria, with the VAR assuring there is no need for him to go back to see the incident.
Carlos Queiroz felt being robbed a huge chance to get something out of the game, insisting his side were denied a clear penalty, that even his grandmother would have awarded.
“In the second half, there was a very clear penalty for us that the referee didn’t award and the VAR did not intervene,” Queiroz said.
“Maybe at that time, the VAR was not working.
“There was clearly a penalty. It wasn’t our day, it wasn’t also a good day for the refereeing. Even my grandmother would have awarded it a penalty.
“It is a disaster because there are VAR referees. It is unacceptable. Watch the incident yourself. It’s unbelievable that with all these referees, no one noticed the penalty,” he added.
The game marked Egypt’s first AFCON opener defeat since 2002 when they lost to Senegal 1-0 and their first group-stage defeat when they fell against Algeria in Tunisia.
Egypt now need to beat their remaining Group D opponents, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau, in order to book their spot in the round of 16.