CAF blame communication error for Victor Gomes gaffe

Victor Gomes (Gallo Images)
Victor Gomes (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The chairperson of the CAF Referees Commission, Souleyman Wouberi has blamed a communication error by their social media team for Victor Gomes mistakenly being announced to referee the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final.

The soccer body on Wednesday announced on Twitter that the South African referee had been named to referee the tournament final between Senegal and Algeria on Friday.

A day later though CAF embarrassingly seemed to make a U-turn when naming Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum to officiate the game.

The sudden change drew widespread criticism with many South Africans accusing the soccer body of corruption and bribery.

In an interview with BBC journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana, CAF Referees Commission chairperson Souleyman Wouberi quelled any claims of corruption and instead blamed the error on a mistake by their media team.

"The CAF Referees Commission did not make an appointment of the referee for today's final until after the third-place match between Nigeria and Tunisia," Waberi told Obayiuwana.

"I was very shocked, like anyone else, to see the announcement of Victor Gomes on CAF's social media handles.

"The moment I saw it, I went to see (CAF's deputy general secretary of football and development) Anthony Baffoe and asked him who gave the communications department the right to make such an announcement. He was also surprised about it. We then had to order that those announcements be taken off all CAF social media.

"This type of mistake should never happen. But the announcement of Gomes never came from the CAF Referees Commission."

Kick-off is at 21:00.

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