'The ball was nowhere near me' - Super Eagles fullback defends himself over penalty incident
Published: January 16, 2022
'The ball was nowhere near me' - Super Eagles fullback defends himself over penalty incident
Super Eagles defender Ola Aina has defended himself after he gave away a penalty during Nigeria's 3-1 win over Sudan in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday evening.

The three-time African champions were cruising at 3-0 thanks to goals from Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Moses Simon but then conceded their first goal of the tournament after Khedr Safour Daiyeen stepped up to convert a penalty with twenty minutes to go.

The penalty was awarded to the north Africans by referee Victor Gomes after Abdelgader Karshoum's shirt was pulled by Ola Aina in the area.

When asked to share his view on the Super Eagles not keeping a clean sheet, Aina told NFF TV : "We gave away the clean sheet, it is sad for the team, the defence and it's sad for Maduka because he's been keeping clean sheets.

"What happened was I wasn't looking at the player, obviously I held his shirt a little bit but there's only a little bit of shirt holding in the box and I was just watching the ball I didn't see when I stepped on his foot.

"These things happen, luckily we were already 3-0 up, even after they put it away I still felt that we were in control of the game so we are lucky for that."

The South African whistle blower yellow carded Aina after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.

"I understand why they gave it as a penalty. But also the ball was nowhere near me or the guy so I don't understand how it was ruled as a penalty.

"In that same instance I understand why they have given a penalty just because of obviously what had been done," Aina added.

Aina has gone the distance in seven of the last nine matches played by the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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