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Togolese referee in charge of Plateau United home loss in 2020 and Remo Stars loss to ASFAR  to handle Saturday Nigeria game with Tanzania



Referee Aklesso Gnama

Aklesso Gnama, the Togolese who refereed Plateau United 0-1 home loss to Tanzania two years ago will handle Saturday’s crucial Olympic Games qualifiers of Nigeria and Tanzania in Ibadan.

He was also the fourth official in last month’s home loss of Remo Stars to AS FAR of Morocco in the Confederations Cup.

Two years ago, Plateau United lost to Simba at home and managed a goalless outing away.

He however handled the Bayelsa United 4-2 home win over Ghana’s Ashante GB in last year’s Confederation Cup preliminary round.

Aklesso Gnama with his compatriots Komlan Domenyo Adiwotso, Jonathan Koffi Ahonto and Komlanvi Aklassou assigned  the roles of assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee respectively are already in Ibadan.

The match commissioner, Cameroon’s Alim Konate Aboubakar and  Bechir Hassani from Tunisia, the referee assessor have also arrived.


Also in Nigeria is the delegation of U23 Men National Team of Tanzania. They are housed at Carlton Gate Hotel in the sprawling city and looking forward to having a feel of the Lekan Salami Stadium turf on Friday evening.

Tanzania and Nigeria played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar es Salaam on Saturday last week, and goals are needed to separate them and determine which side goes ahead to face the winner of the fixture between Uganda and Guinea in the ultimate round before the continental finals slated for Morocco in 13 months’ time.

A goal in each half, from the spot and in opposite directions, was the account of the first leg, and Head Coach Salisu Yusuf says his boys are primed for a decisive victory when the whistle goes for kick-off at 4pm on Saturday.

“We went to Tanzania to win but it was just not possible. The boys really worked hard and I must commend them for their effots. However, we have been working hard on our weak points and believe we will get the job done on Saturday.

“The entire team is happy with the hospitality from the Oyo State Government. We are happy to be able to focus entirely on the match without any distractions.”


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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