Controversial Referee Appointments for Egypt’s Next World Cup Qualifiers

FIFA World Cup - Russia 2018

The match referees for Egypt’s next two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers have been appointed, and they’ll leave some scratching their heads.

Mauritanian Ali Lemghaifry is set to officiate the Pharaohs’ Aug. 31 qualifier against Kampala in Uganda.

South African Victor Gomez, meanwhile, will carry the whistle when Egypt again faces Uganda Sept. 5 in Alexandria.

Both choices will be viewed as controversial given some high-profile, sub-par performances.

Most recently, Lemghaifry refereed the Arab Club Championship match between Tunisia’s Esperance and Iraq’s Al-Naft Monday in Alexandria.

The contest saw multiple errant calls, including a goal for Al-Naft canceled for offside. Replays showed the goal-scorer was easily kept onside by at least one, possibly two Esperance defenders.

Lemghaifry also officiated Uganda’s last official match, a 1-0 away win over Cape Verde in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

Gomez, meanwhile, was the focus of heated backlash for his performances in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League.

Most notably, decisions he made in a May 13 encounter between Golden Arrows and Baroka.

The 34-year-old awarded a dubious penalty in the dying minutes, and then disallowed the subsequent goal citing encroachment.

Replays showed the decision was incorrect.

Fans responded by decrying Gomez’s calls and demanding he be banned.

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