Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Spotlight on ref as Equatorial Guinea target final

04 February 2015, 13:35

Malabo - Gabon referee Eric Otogo will be in the spotlight Thursday as Africa Cup of Nations hosts Equatorial Guinea and Ghana meet in a semi-final after disgraceful scenes in a weekend match involving the hosts.

On Saturday, a dubious penalty decision in the dying minutes by Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn turned the tide in favour of Equatorial Guinea against Tunisia.

Javier Balboa converted the harshly awarded spot-kick and he scored again in extra-time to give the host nation a shock 2-1 victory.

After the game, riot police had to protect the match officials from furious Tunisian players.

Otogo, 38, who has officiated two matches at this tournament, will be expected to redeem the organisers' credibility with his performance in Malabo.

Ghana coach Avram Grant admitted there have been a couple of bad refereeing calls at the tournament, but preferred to focus on preparing his team.

"If the referee will do two, three (mistakes), I cannot control (it). I can control only our performance," said the former Chelsea manager.

"I think the referees until now -- except (for) one or two games -- have been good.

"And I am sure everyone will be watching this and everybody who needs to take care of this will do their job."

This will be Ghana's fifth consecutive semi-final, while the Nzalang Nacional (national thunder) are in the last four for the first time.

If the host nation's passage to the semi-final was controversial, the Black Stars' qualification was most convincing as they dumped Guinea 3-0.

Four-time winners Ghana have improved since an opening-match 2-1 loss to Senegal by beating Algeria, South Africa and Guinea.

However, they are sweating on the fitness of inspirational skipper Asamoah Gyan, who is nursing a hip injury after a collision with Guinea goalkeeper Naby Yattara.

England-based striker Kwesi Appiah, who scored against Guinea, could replace Gyan.

Equatorial Guinea are unhappy having to move to Malabo for the game from their fortress in Bata, where they have not lost an international game.

Three years ago, it was in Malabo that they were thumped 3-0 by the Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals.

Javier Balboa will again be the source of inspiration for the team. He has stood out with his maturity and class.

Goalkeeper Felipe Ovono, who features in the semi-professional Equatoguinean league, has also caught the eye and is one of the reasons his country are still in this tournament.

"It will be difficult to win the Cup of Nations, but I pray to still win it," said Argentine coach Esteban Becker, who led Equatorial Guinea to the 2012 African women's title.

"We like the challenge, we are hungry to win.

"We are a young team, a team for the future. We have at least 10 top young players, but we want to take it one step at a time.

"All the same, I'm very happy for a small country like Equatorial Guinea, even though we lined up many young players who are playing their football in the lower leagues in Europe.

"It's incredible, I'm proud of what we have so far achieved."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Conte denies humiliating Jose

24 October 2016, 19:07

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Ababu chased by rowdy youth durin...

Ababu Namwamba was chased off by rowdy youth in a rally, after being accused of supporting the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Has Uhuru done enough for Kenyan ...

Has President Uhuru Kenyatta done enough to lift the lives of Kenyan youth? Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
COMMENT: Peter Kenneth adds no va...

Peter Kenneth adds no value to the Jubilee Party's 2017 bid, experts argue. Read more...