CAF appoints ‘smiling referee’, Chadian official for Nigeria, South Africa, and Benin Republic clash

Super Eagles vs Lesotho

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the appointment of referees for Nigeria’s upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic, reports. 

Chadian referee Alhadi Allaou Mahammat and Ethiopian official Bamlak Tessema Weyesa will officiate the matches, respectively.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana and Benin Republic’s Squirrels as part of their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign.

For the match against South Africa, CAF has appointed 38-year-old Mahammat, who has previously officiated in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup. He also served as a referee at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. The match will take place at 8 PM Nigeria time on Friday, June 7.

Mahammat will be assisted by Sudanese official Mohammed Ibrahim Abdallah (assistant referee 1), Abelmiro Dos Reis Monte Negro from Sao Tome & Principe (assistant referee 2), and compatriot Pousri Armi Alfred (fourth official). Ahmed Sayed Abou Elela from Egypt will act as the referee assessor, while Ghanaian Munkaila Nassam Adam will serve as the match commissioner.

For the subsequent match against Benin Republic, CAF has selected 43-year-old Ethiopian referee, who is also known as the ‘smiling referee’.

This match will be held at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, starting at 4 PM Ivorian time (5 PM Nigeria time) on Monday, June 10.

Weyesa will be supported by fellow Ethiopians Temesgin Samuel Atango (assistant referee 1), Tigle Gizaw Belachew (assistant referee 2), and Tewodros Mitiku (fourth official).

Djamel Haimoudi from Algeria will serve as the referee assessor, with David Yameogo from Burkina Faso as the match commissioner. Ivorian Claude Elloh will handle security.