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Mikel: Giroud intended elbow

2014-07-01 14:27
John Obi Mikel (Supplied)
John Obi Mikel (Supplied)
Cape Town - Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel insists that Olivier Giroud deliberately elbowed him in the 2-0 defeat to France in their last-16 clash at the World Cup.

Paul Pogba's 79th-minute effort and a Joseph Yobo own-goal at the death sent the Super Eagles out of the tournament in Brazil, but an incident in the first half involving Giroud drew Mikel's particular ire.

The Chelsea man was caught by the Arsenal striker in full view of the referee, who only gave Giroud a talking to, and Mikel claims the elbow was intended and should have warranted sterner action.

Out-going Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi accused referee Mark Geiger of favouring Les Bleus after the match official only booked Blaise Matuidi for a reckless challenge on Ogenyi Onazi, who left the pitch on a stretcher with a suspected broken leg.

Mikel was also critical of Geiger's performance, saying: "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 added: "I thought the referee didn't help us. There were some heavy challenges and I think Ogenyi Onazi has broken his ankle. Challenges like this are bad but it was a 50-50, he just miscalculated, he is not a dirty player."

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