All eyes will be on the match officials for today’s CAF Confederation Cup semifinal first leg match between Enyimba and Morocco’s Raja Casablanca in Aba.
Enyimba need a convincing victory on their home soil to ease the pressure on them in the return leg.
However, the attention will focus on the performance of the match officials, who allegedly came to Nigeria on the same flight with the Moroccan team for this game against Enyimba.
In their petition to CAF over the development on Monday, Enyimba complained, “the fact that the match officials traveled in the same flight with our opponents, Raja Club Athletic all the way to Port Harcourt, aborting the original Lagos route is deeply worrisome.”
Despite their concerns on the neutrality of the officials, Enyimba coach, Usman Abdallah is sure his wards will come out with a good result today despite Raja’s stronger pedigree in African football.
Enyimba dismantled Rayon Sport of Rwanda in the quarterfinals to get to this stage and Abdallah believes Raja will go the same way.
“Raja are a top side in Africa and they have a rich continental history and experience. They play good and compact football but we are not scared of playing them.
“North African sides are always tough for West African teams, because most of their players play together for a longer time.
“Most of them find their way into their national teams – so they give their opponents a tough time.
“When we beat Rayon Sport, we knew the semifinals won’t come easy, so we started preparations long ago.
“We are not focusing on a particular player rather we will play our game and get the result we need at home.
“To be the best on the continent, one has to play against the best and tough teams,” he told a local website.
Enyimba is not new to Raja as they met in the 2011 Champions League, where the Aba side won the hoe leg 2-0 and drew goalless in Casablanca.