MX23RW : Sunday, November 18 21:17:52

John Obi Mikel: 'Marcos Rojo handball against Nigeria was a penalty'

Mikel: 'Rojo handball was a penalty'
© Reuters
John Obi Mikel believes that Marcos Rojo's unpunished handball in the 2-1 World Cup defeat to Argentina should have led to the Super Eagles winning a penalty.

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has claimed that Marcos Rojo handled in the Argentina box during their World Cup defeat in St Petersburg and is adamant that his nation should have won a penalty.

In the 76th minute of the game, with the scores level at 1-1, the Manchester United defender headed the ball onto his own hand in the box after a Super Eagles cross from the left flank before Odion Ighalo shot wide.

Referee Cuneyt Cakir consulted the VAR and deemed the incident unworthy of a penalty, and 10 minutes later, Rojo struck a late winner for the Albiceleste to put them second in Group D at Nigeria's expense.

Mikel slated Cakir's decision not to award the Super Eagles a spot kick and believes that the calls for a penalty were more clear-cut than the ones for Cedric Soares's handball from a Sardar Azmoun header in the 1-1 draw between Portugal and Iran.

"It was a clear penalty for me," Mikel told reporters at full time.

"If you look at the Portugal game yesterday, this wasn't close to that. This was worse. We have seen it again in the dressing room. It was a clear handball.

"The referee looked at the VAR. He said it hit the hand. I asked why he didn't give the penalty, but he said he didn't know."

VAR is being used for the first time a World Cup this year and has been on the receiving end of much criticism from fans and pundits.


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Nigeria's John Obi Mikel during a press conference on June 1, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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