Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe referee – AFCON qualifier

Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe referee – AFCON qualifier
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Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe is the final of the AFCON Group A qualifying match for Nigeria, as they have already sealed a place in Ivory Coast.

The Super Eagles had a straightforward route to the tournament in Ivory Coast in January 2024, with the only blip being a 0-1 loss to Guinea Bissau at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.

The Super Eagles got revenge in the return clash by the same scoreline to return to the top of the table.

Following their victory over Sierra Leone, the Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe clash became a dead rubber, with the home side looking for a comfortable win to please the fans and finish top of the group.

The match will be played at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo.

The home side should produce a spectacle at the only standard stadium in Nigeria (According to CAF).

Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe – the referee

super eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe osimhen
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Nigeria will not be under the pressure of an upset or whether the result will affect their position.

As earlier mentioned, it is a dead rubber, and the referee will hope to officiate a clean and entertaining match.

So, who is the referee for the Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe match?

The Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe AFCON Qualifier will have Algerian referees, led by seasoned official Lahlou Benbraham.

Benbraham has a rich resume after being at the centre of many Algerian Ligue 1 and international matches.

The 37-year-old will be assisted by his compatriots, Brahim El Hamlaoui Sid Ali and Mohammed Serradj.

The duo are the match Assistant Referees, while Nabil Boukhalfa is the Fourth Official. CAF also has Ghana’s Prosper Addo as the Match Commissioner.

Togolese Komi Konyoh is the Referee Assessor, evaluating the officiating team’s performance.

Nigeria’s Ozoemena Joseph will serve as the General Match Coordinator, overseeing various aspects of the match’s logistics.

Who is Lahlou Benbraham?

super eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe lahlou benbraham warming up
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Lahlou Benbraham has officiated several matches ranging from the Algerian Ligue 1, the CAF Champions League, the CAF Confederation Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.

With over 100 matches under his belt, the Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe match is another feather to his cap.

Some matches he has officiated include the Al Ahly/Al Hilal CAF Champions League group stage game in 2019.

He also officiated three matches at the African Nations Championship 2021.

The matches are Zambia vs Tanzania, Niger vs DR Congo (group stage) and Guinea vs Cameroon (Third place playoff).

He was also a part of the Africa Cup of Nations 2022, handling two matches.

Benbraham was at the centre when Gabon played a 1-1 draw with Ghana in the group stage and when Senegal defeated Cape Verde 2-0 in the second round.

The 37-year-old Algerian has not officiated any Nigerian match, but he was the fourth official when the Nigerian U-23 team defeated Zambia 3-1 in 2019.

He was the fourth official when the Super Eagles played 1-1 with Cape Verde in a 2021 World Cup qualification match.

When Guinea played a 2-2 draw with Sudan in a World Cup qualification match in 2021, and Senegal beat Egypt in the playoffs for a place in Qatar, Benbraham was the fourth official.

Trigger happy ref

super eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipesuper eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe nigeria hopes to win big
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The Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe match is the first Nigerian game involving Benbraham at the centre.

Benbraham is not shy in issuing cards to erring players. The Algerian has a resume with plenty of yellow cards.

He is on record to have issued seven yellow cards in one game. In the tie between Gabon and Ghana, Benbraham awarded seven yellow cards and one red.

Senegal vs Cape Verde saw him dishing out one yellow and two red cards.

Benbraham also officiated the CAF Confederation Cup 4-0 win of CS Sfaxien over Bayelsa United in 2021. He dished out four yellow cards in that game.

It won’t be a surprise to see Benbraham again being liberal with the cards in the Super Eagles vs São Tomé and Príncipe.

What to expect

The Super Eagles are the top dogs in this tie. In the first leg away to São Tomé and Príncipe, they beat their opponents 10-0.

We might not see this kind of scoreline, but the Super Eagles will want to ramp up the goals, with Osimhen looking to increase his goal haul in the national team shirt.

Prediction: 5-0 and above.

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.