2026 WCQ: FIFA names new officials for Benin vs Nigeria clash

2026 WCQ: FIFA names new officials for Benin vs Nigeria clash
Referee, Pierre Ghislain Atcho during the CAF Champions League 2023/24. ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday May 23, 2024. 14:52

FIFA has announced changes to the officiating team for the upcoming match between the Benin Republic and Nigeria.

This is according to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) with the Super Eagles scheduled to face Benin’s Cheetahs in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier next month.

Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa was expected to officiate the match, but he has been replaced by Gabonese official Pierre Ghislain Atcho.

The two teams are scheduled to meet at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Monday, 10 June 2024.

“World-governing body, FIFA has made changes to the officiating team of the 2026 World Cup qualifying match between Benin Republic and Nigeria which is scheduled for the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in the Ivorian capital on Monday, 10th June 2024,” a statement read.

“The changes have sent packing Ethiopian official Bamlak Tessema Weyesa, who was originally designated as referee for the encounter scheduled to kick off at 4pm. In his place, Gabonese official Pierre Ghislain Atcho will now be the referee.

“Weyesa’s compatriots Temesgin Samuel Atango and Tigle Gizaw Belachew have been retained as assistant referee 1 and assistant referee 2 respectively. However, another Ethiopian, Tewodros Mitiku, earlier designated as fourth official, has been thrown out, replaced by Cameroonian Antoine Max Effa Essouma.

“The originally-designated referee assessor, match commissioner and security officer retain their places in the Day 4 encounter that comes up only three days after the Super Eagles, Bafana Bafana clash at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo in a Day 3 battle.”

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