Nigerian men’s rugby national team (Black Stallions) has protested their defeat by Cote d’Ivoire at the just concluded West African Regional Championships hosted by the winners.
With video evidence, the Nigerian team is claiming that the umpires conspired to help the hosts win the championship.
Cote d’Ivoire at the weekend defeated Nigeria by 22 tries to 17 tries to win the tournament.
According to the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), the result of the final encounter was marred with controversy, as the referee awarded a controversial try to the Ivoirians, which were trailing in the scores.
The rugby body commended the Black Stallions for giving their best to qualify for the final round of the championship which had Benin Republic, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger Republic, Guinea, Nigeria and host, Cote d’Ivoire.
The NRFF has assured the players that it would not stop helping the team to excel in other international engagements.
According to NRFF’s technical director, Ntiense Williams, Nigeria’s defeat will not affect the players’ performance in subsequent competitions.
“There was a controversial conversion which the referee didn’t see and he asked from the Touch In Goal Judge, who awarded a try to Cote d’Ivoire to the dismay of all other teams and spectators.
“This led to a draw at regulation time. Otherwise, it should have ended 17 points to 15 in favour of Nigeria.
We have been asked to send in a protest with a video evidence,” he said.