FIFA U-17 World Cup: Niger coach vents anger at referee after loss vs Spain
A war of words erupted between the Niger coach Ismaila Tiemoko and his Spain counterpart Santiago Denia after their FIFA U-17 Group D match on Tuesday.Updated: Oct 10, 2017 23:23 IST
Niger coach Ismaila Tiemoko lashed out at referee Enrique Caceres of Paraguay after the 4-0 defeat at the hands of Spain in their FIFA U-17 World Cup Group D match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Tuesday.
Sergio Gomez’s late strike sealed off a comfortable victory for the European champions, who had taken a 3-0 lead by half time via first half goals from Abel Ruiz (two) and Cesar Gelabert. (Costa Rica vs Guinea Highlights)
“People say I don’t joke a lot. In this match, there were a lot of things to joke about,” Ismaila said after the match.
“Normally it isn’t my habit to criticise the referee. Spain are far more experienced, while this is our first time (at a World Cup). Their players were protected a lot by the referee,” he added.
“Every time the game was in hands, something went against us from the referee. It would have been (a) more equal (game) had some of these decisions gone in our favour. We weren’t allowed to play our game by the referee.” he stated.
“In all the cases when we were in physical contact with Spain, fouls were given against us which pushed us back a bit,” he added. “I don’t dispute the quality of Spain. If there’s one thing I want the team to learn from this match, it’s to keep possession of the ball, but the referee must respect our style of football as well.”
While Niger were the more aggressive in the game, they committed only four more fouls than Spain (the African nation gave away 14 fouls).
Ismaila’s claims of the opponents being given added protection by the referee were refuted by his Spanish counterpart Santiago Denia.
“I don’t think so (that the referee favoured Spain). I respect what the referees do. I have no comments regarding what the referees did or didn’t do. They did their job well,” he said.
Denia lauded Niger for starting the game well, but said his players were well-prepared to cope with any such pressure.
“Niger pressed us in opening minutes. It was difficult (to play) with the pressure they put, but after the opening 10 minutes, it was easier for us,” he stated.
“In the end, we’ve got the players who could cope with the pressure of the Niger team,” he added.
Spain will play their final group stage game against North Korea here on Friday, while Niger will travel to Goa for their clash against Brazil on the same day.
First Published: Oct 10, 2017 21:31 IST