Super Eagles assistant coach, Joseph Yobo, has said Alex Iwobi should not have been sent off for his challenge on Youssef Msakni, as Nigeria lost 1-0 to Tunisia in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 fixture.
With the three-time African champions trailing against the Carthage Eagles, the 25-year-old replaced Kelechi Iheanacho in the 59th minute.
However, he was sent off seven minutes later for a needless challenge on the Carthage Eagles’ captain. Iwobi was initially issued a caution, however, referee Maguette Ndiaye reversed his decision after checking VAR.
Following the three-time African kings being reduced to 10 men, they struggled to impress and returned home with heads bowed low.
That decision did not go well with Yobo, who stated that it ruined Nigeria’s chances of launching a comeback.
“I went to the assistant referee and I asked him, and he said it was a collision. Fair enough, there was no intent to hurt anybody because it was in the middle of the park,” Yobo told GOAL in the mixed zone.
“We can look at it from different angles, but it was harsh in my own opinion – a yellow card would have been fair.
“We haven’t seen the replay, but the red card changed everything for us. Iwobi is a top player, and he could have added a lot of value to the team.
“I haven’t seen the replay but with what I saw from the bench, the decision was a little bit harsh.”
Having failed in their expedition to win a fourth African title, Nigeria will now shift their focus on the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying play-off against Ghana.