20,000 sign petition against Kiwi ref

New Zealand referee Peter O'Leary talks to Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, background right, following Nigeria's 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo / Getty Images
New Zealand referee Peter O'Leary talks to Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, background right, following Nigeria's 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo / Getty Images

An online petition has already drawn 20,000 signatures to remove New Zealand referee Peter O'Leary from the World Cup after an image appeared of him 'celebrating' with Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

O'Leary drew widespread criticism after wrongly disallowing an Edin Dzeko strike after 21 minutes in the Bosnia-Herzegovina defeat.

Petition - Fire Peter O' Leary from his Referee job and change result on Bosnia-Herzegovina v Nigeria to 1 v 1.

Eight minutes later Peter Odemwingie fired the Super Eagles in front, but Emmanuel Emenike appeared to clip the heels of Emir Spahic in the build-up.

That went unpunished and the appearance of the picture has prompted a Bosnian fan to send a petition to Fifa asking for the removal of O'Leary and the match to be changed to 1-1.

In the aftermath of the game Manchester City striker Dzeko, who also hit the post late on, said O'Leary's performance was "shameful".

When asked what happened in the game he said: "The referee happened. We are going home, we are sad because of that, but the referee should go home too, because he changed the result, he changed the game, and that's why we lost.

"We tried to come back after the goal where there was obviously a foul on our captain and before when I scored a goal it was not offside. Nigeria played good as well, but the referee was shameful for this competition."

Bosnia-Herzegovina were eliminated from the tournament as they needed at least a draw.

- The Independent

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