Confederation of African Football (CAF) have named 41-year-old Moroccan referee, Redouane Jiyed to handle this Saturday’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Nigeria and their hosts, Benin Republic at Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo, megasportsarena.com reports.
Jiyed, who was centre referee in July 2019 when Nigeria defeated South Africa 2-1 at Cairo International Stadium, Egypt in the quarter-finals of the 32nd AFCON, will be assisted by his compatriots, Lahsen Azgaou (Assistant Referee I), Mostafa Akarkad (Assistant referee II) and Samir Guezzaz (Fourth Official).
Ghana Football Association (GFA) Safety and Security officer, Julius Ben Emunah will serve as Security officer and Yameogo Koudougou David from Burkina Faso is the Match Commissioner as Sylvestre Parfait Aivodji from Benin acts as COVID-19 Officer.
Nigerians will be hoping the Super Eagles are second time lucky under Jiyed by picking the three maximum points on offer in the game to book their flight to the 33rd edition of the continental soccer showpiece with a game to spare.
Fortunately for them, CAF earlier gave approval to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to allow some fans into Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos for the Eagles’ last match of the qualifiers against visiting Lesotho next Tuesday.
With the Eagles making a return to Lagos for the first time in 20 years, NFF top shots were quite hopeful that a chunk of supporters would be present to see the game and CAF has given them the all-clear.
The executive chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Shola Aiyepeku, who disclosed this clearance before the Eagles’ camp opened on Monday in The Centre of Excellence, added that arrangements are already in place for about 8,000 fans at the game.
Aiyepeku added: “CAF has approved that we should have 30% capacity at the stadium, and we are looking at about 8000. So, it won’t be a full house but that will be much easier for us to manage with the Covid-19 protocols.
“We have designed protocols already to ensure people don’t gather in one place at a time so these arrangements will be done before then and I can assure you that Lagos is very much ready.”