A petition urging FIFA to send referee Peter O’Leary home after he disqualified a goal from the Bosnian side during their match with Nigeria has gathered up to 20, 000 signatures.
The referee’s controversial decision drew widespread criticism from football fans around the world who deemed it wrong as the goal- after review appeared not to be off side after all. The Nigerian side eventually won the match 1-0, thereby sending the Bosnian’s who needed at least a draw home.
In addition to facing the wrath of Bosnians and their fans, O’Leary’s troubles have been further compounded by an image which has been posted online which shows him celebrating with Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama after Odemwingie’s goal.
Nigeria has been rocked by match fixing allegations in the run up to the 2014 World Cup and this will not do much for the team’s credibility.
Speaking to the Press after the match, Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko who scored the goal for the Bosnian side said that the referee’s performance had been ‘shameful’ and went as far as blaming him for the side’s loss.
“We are going home, we are sad because of that, but the referee should go home too, because he changed the result, he changed the game, and that’s why we lost,” he said.
Dzeko however conceded that the Nigerian side were the better side on the day. ““Their speed and agility took us by surprise,” he said.
“Nigeria took the game to us, really wanted to win and deserve to be in a position to reach the knockout stages.”