FIFA changes official for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifier against Benin

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World football governing body FIFA have announced a change in referees for Nigeria’s crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers fixture against Benin Republic, reports.

The Super Eagles lock horns with Benin on June 10 at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan. The game will be three days after they play South Africa at the Godswill Akpabi Stadium in Uyo.

Initially, the referees that were selected to oversee proceedings for the fixture between Nigeria and Benin were Ethiopian officials Bamlak Tessema Weyesa(center referee), and Temesgin Samuel Atango and Tigle Gizaw Belachew as assistant referee 1 and 2 respectively. Also, Tewodros Mitiku was earlier designated as the fourth official.

However, some changes have been made to that lineup according to the NFF. The new center referee is Gabonese official Pierre Ghislain Atcho, but the assistant referees keep their place. Meanwhile, the new fourth official is Cameroonian Antoine Max Effa Essouma.

As of the time of this report, the reason for the switch has not been ascertained yet.

More to follow…