The Confederation of African Football has appointed Egyptian official Amin Mohamed Omar as the referee for Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final encounter between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
The match, which will commence at 5 pm Cote d’Ivoire time (6 pm in Nigeria), will see Omar’s compatriots, Mahmoud Kamel Abouelregal and Ahmed Hossam Ibrahim, playing the roles of assistant referee 1 and assistant referee 2, respectively, while Sudanese Mahmood Ali Ismail will serve as the fourth official.
Attia Essa Amsaaed from Libya will be the reserve assistant referee, with Yacoub Ali Elmi from Djibouti as commissioner and Aboubacar Doumbouya from Guinea as the referee assessor.
Three-time champions Nigeria and 1996 champions South Africa will face off in their second-ever Africa Cup of Nations semi-final clash at the Stade de la Paix. Their only previous meeting at the same stage, at the National Stadium in Lagos when Nigeria co-hosted the 2000 finals with Ghana, ended 2-0 in favour of Nigeria.
Wednesday’s clash is being billed as the more potentially explosive of the two semi-finals (hosts Cote d’Ivoire are up against the Democratic Republic of Congo), given the pedigree, rivalry, and ambition of the two teams.
South Africa has only beaten Nigeria twice in 14 previous meetings at full senior level, though Nigeria edged an African Nations Championship clash by beating the hosts 3-1 in Cape Town in 2014.
The Eagles are presently ranked 42nd in the world by FIFA (6th in Africa), while the Bafana Bafana are 66th in the world (12th in Africa).
Four years ago, both teams met at the quarter-final stage, with the Super Eagles edging the encounter at the Cairo International Stadium 2-1, the goals coming from Samuel Chukwueze and William Ekong. Both players are in the present squad and likely to be part of Wednesday’s battle.