South Africa’s Daniel Frazer Bennett will be the centre referee at Borg el Arab Stadium in Alexandria today when Nigeria and Egypt file out for the Group G showdown, to decide which country goes for AFCON 2017 in Gabon next January.
Kick off will be 7pm Egyptian time and 6pm in Nigeria.
It will be an all South Africa cast of officials as 39 year-old Bennett will be assisted by fellow compatriots, Zakhele Thusi Siwela and Peter Chauke.
Bennett, born 22 August 1976 in Dewsbury, England is a schoolteacher at Mondeor Primary in Johannesburg. He was voted PSL Referee of the Season in 2000–01 and 2010-11. He has been an international referee since 2003.
The Nigerian players arrived Alexandria on Monday evening for a game that has been described as a blockbuster Africa Cup of Nations qualifier encounter.
Both teams had shared the spoils in Kaduna, tied 1-1. The result was not what Nigeria needed and matters even got more complicated and desperate for the Nigerians following the withdrawal of Chad and deduction of points by CAF.
Going into today’s match, the Pharaohs lead the group with four points. Nigeria has two and Tanzania, the third team in the group, has one point.
The Nigerian team was led into Alexandria by NFF President Amaju Pinnick.
On arrival, the team was received by a team of Nigerian Embassy officials led by Ambassador Mohammed Maccido, who expressed his delight at their safe arrival and admonished them to make the country proud.
Coach Samson Siasia has vowed that his team would gun for victory against the hosts.
“We know we have no choice but to win, so we will go all out,” said Siasia.
“There is no alternative. All the players are aware of that fact and whoever gets to play today will fight very hard for the country.”