BY KUNLE SOLAJA
Gehad Grisha, an experienced Egyptian football referee who refereed the Nigeria 4-0 mauling of Cameroon two years ago has been slammed with a suspension.
He also officiated the in the Nigeria-Zambia Afcon match which controversially ended 1-1 after Grisha awarded a penalty kick to Zambia.
The hammer has fallen on the referee for his performance in the CAF Champions League final match involving Morocco’s Wydad Athletic Club and Tunisia’s Esperance de Tunis at the weekend.
According to a press release by CAF, “the referees committee of the Confederattion Africain de Football has decided to suspend Mr. Gehad Grisha for a period of six months due to poor performance.”
The match ended 1-1. The Royal Moroccan Football Federation filed a complaint to CAF against the referee.
Fousseny Coulibaly put the visitors into a 44th-minute lead, before they gave it up after Cheick Ibrahim Comara’s late equaliser in the 79th minute.
In a game full of incessant fouling and bickering, Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha was forced to dish out four yellow cards in just the opening 45 minutes.
The 43-year-old referee also went to the VAR twice, the first time to rule out a goal for the hosts due to a handball in the build-up to the goal, before not awarding Wydad a penalty in the 57th minute after consulting the VAR.
A red card was also shown to Wydad’s midfielder Brahim Nakach after picking up two yellow cards in only five minutes.
This led the Moroccan giants to lodge a complaint to CAF against the Egyptian referee because of his poor decision making, highlighting his actions in the two
Grisha, a well-known face in Nigeria, officiated the 5-1 defeat of Rwanda’s Rayon Sports by Enyimba last year. He also officiated at the Russia 2018 World Cup. He took charge of the England 6-1 defeat of Panama.
He was the referee that awarded a controversial penalty kick against Nigeria in the 1-1 draw of a Group C Afcon 2013 duel at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) subsequently dispatched a strongly-warded protest to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which ostensibly ruled in favour of the NFF and Grisha was sent home from the Afcon five years ago.