AFCON 2015: Gabonese referee to officiate Ghana -Equatorial Guinea clash
CAF has made a disputable decision by appointing controversial Gabonese referee Eric Arnaud Otogo-Castane to take charge of Ghana’s crucial 2015 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final match against hosts Equatorial Guinea on Thursday.
The divisive appointment of the match official from neighboring Gabon comes just two days after the referee in Equatorial Guinea’s match favoured the host nation by awarding a dubious penalty which helped the home side to edge past Tunisia to reach the last four.
This has raised suspicions that the referees favour the home side Equatorial Guinea and with the referee coming from their neighboring country Gabon, the misgivings by Ghana football fans could be right.
Eric Arnaud Otogo Castane will be assisted by Abdelhak Etchiali of Algeria as the assistant referee 1 while Jerson Emiliano dos Santos of Angola will be the assistant referee 2.
Nigerien Yahaya Mahamadou will be the assistant referee 3 while Mehdi Abid Charef of Algeria will be the reserve referee.
Marcel Njipendi Kuotu from Cameroon will be referee assessor, with Mauritanian Massa Diarra as general coordinator and Khaled Lemkecher from Tunisia as assistant general coordinator.
Referee Eric Otogo-Castane has already courted controversy in this tournament as Tunisian FA lodged a formal complaint to Caf over his performance in their match against Cape Verde for the penalty he awarded the latter.
There were question marks over whether Ben Youssef’s challenge was in the box and how much contact was made but referee Otogo-Castane pointed to the spot.
However, the referee did superbly to spot that Ali Maaloul’s foul on Heldon in the 38th minute was just outside the box with Cape Verde appealing for a penalty.
The 39-year-old was in charge when Ghana faced Mali in the 2013 Nations Cup third-place playoff.
The Black Stars, whose last triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1982, dismissed Guinea’s Syli Nationale 3-0 in one of the quarter-finals on Sunday – a match also superintended by Pinnick.
The National Lightning (Equatorial Guinea National Team’s nickname) stunned Tunisia 2-1 in Bata on Saturday and know they have a mountain to surmount against the four –time winners at Estadio Nuevo do Malabo.