France vs Nigeria World Cup 2014 reaction: Olivier Giroud accused of deliberately elbowing John Obi Mikel
The Premier League duo were involved in an altercation during France's 2-0 win
Monday 30 June 2014
John Obi Mikel has accused Olivier Giroud of deliberately elbowing him and believes the Arsenal striker should have been sent off in France’s win over Nigeria.
The incident happened in the 29 minute with the score at 0-0 but American referee Mark Geiger chose not to act and Les Blues ended up reaching the quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory in Brasilia.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi accused the referee of “bias” after his side saw a goal disallowed for offside and midfielder Ogenyi Onazi stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle following a bad tackle from Blaise Matuidi, for which he only received a yellow card.
And Chelsea midfielder Mikel voiced his frustration at his Premier League counterpart, adding: “Yes I got an elbow and the referee saw it and he only gave him a warning, not even a yellow card, nothing. It was bad.
“We know the game – if you see it, act on it. The ref saw it. He did catch me, I don't know if it was too hard but the intention was definitely there.
“I don't think he is a dirty player. Everyone wants to win for his country. He hasn't done those sort of things before so maybe it was just one of those things in the heat of the moment."
He continued: “I thought the referee didn't help us. There were some heavy challenges and I think Onazi has broken his ankle. Challenges like this are bad but it was a 50-50, he just miscaculated, he is not a dirty player.
“We played so well and we were the better side until we let in a goal. We conceded from two set-pieces after we had talked a lot on set-pieces. We were organised until then but we knew the little slip up could be a set-piece.”
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