‘Nigeria have no reason to fear’ – Linus Mba hopeful of clean officiating from formerly banned referee

The Kenyan served a three-month ban in 2016 following a poor judgement but the Fifa Referee instructor has called for confidence in the official

Linus Mba is optimistic of an unbiased officiating as David Omweno takes charge of Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Nigeria and Seychelles at the Stade Linte.

The 34-year-old Kenyan was among the two referees banned for three months in 2016 by the Confederation of African Football for disallowing a legitimate goal scored by Libya in their 1-0 defeat to Tunisia.

However, the Caf and Fifa Referee adviser has called for confidence in the official while urging Gernot Rohr’s men to prepare well for the game on their part.

“Referee is not an easy job to do. We are liable to make mistakes, Omweno might have been banned for some months but he has been re-appointed,” Mba told Goal.

“Since Caf have found him worthy to officiate the match then we should have no reason to fear. Referee has changed. Everybody is working hard to avoid mistakes because some mistakes arrive as a result of indecision.

“When referees make mistake we think they did it deliberately to favour a team but that is not the case.

“We should not entertain any fear. We must have a good mindset going into the game. If you don’t prepare well you don’t win. Referee has changed. It is no longer what it used to be.

“Even between January and now changes have occurred to some of the rules of the game. We should just make good preparation on our part and be confident that the referee will officiate unbiased.”

Nigeria will be aiming for victory in the encounter so as to get their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations back on track after losing their opening game to South Africa.