Finidi George Slams Absence of VAR in Nigeria’s World Cup Qualifier

Finidi George

Finidi George Fumes Over VAR Absence in Super Eagles’ World Cup Qualifier.

The Super Eagles’ 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against South Africa in Uyo on Friday ended in a 1-1 draw, but the result was overshadowed by controversy and frustration.

Head coach Finidi George was left fuming after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was unavailable, leading to several contentious decisions that potentially cost his side the win.

One of the most blatant incidents occurred in the 53rd minute when Fisayo Dele-Bashiru was clearly fouled inside the box, but the referee waved play on, denying the Super Eagles a penalty.

To make matters worse, substitute Samuel Chukwueze‘s stunning left-footed effort crashed against the crossbar and appeared to cross the goal line, but the goal was not awarded.

George’s frustration, as he lamented the absence of VAR, which could have helped to rectify these errors.


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The draw leaves the Super Eagles with work to do in their quest to qualify for the World Cup, and George will be hoping that the technology will be available for future matches to ensure fair play.

George said after the match:

“I’m sure we all saw the AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire where the VAR was properly used.”

“Even the Europeans were applauding the AFCON, you know. For me, I don’t know why in (World Cup qualifiers) like this,

where everything counts and we couldn’t have a play or incident properly checked to know if a goal is properly scored or not.

“Chukwueze’s cross which hit the (underneath of the) bar, from where I was standing, I don’t know whether it crossed the line,

but if there’s VAR, we would have had the opportunity of having a better view. For me, I’m just a coach and cannot change the rules of FIFA”.

Nigeria will face Benin Republic on Monday, in a crucial World Cup Qualifier match.

A win for them will boost their chances of qualifying for the World Cup, as they currently sit fifth in a six-team group.

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