Precedent and empirical facts reinforce superstitious beliefs in football. And nowhere like Africa is the subject of superstitions a more passionate talking point.
So, what will Nigerian football fans make of the news that Egyptian Referee Ghead Grisha is officiating the first-leg 2018 World Cup fixture against Cameroon on Friday.
Grisha, 41, is no stranger with Nigerian teams and in particular the Super Eagles.
It is actually on record that Nigeria has never lost a match officiated by Grisha or one where he was involved in any other capacity.
Nigeria won three matches and drew one of all the games the Egyptian has been involved.
Another interesting fact about the 41-year-old referee is that he’s generous with the cards to and penalties.
Grisha has issued seven yellow cards to Nigerian players; Mikel Obi and Ahmed Musa the only ones invited for the qualifiers against Cameroon.
He has also awarded the Eagles two penalties, and one against.
Nigeria’s record when Grisha officiated:
2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier
Zambia 1 – 2 Nigeria [Yellow 2 (1 – 1), Red 0, Penalty 0].
2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers
Congo 0 – 2 Nigeria [Yellow 5 (2 – 3), Red 0, Penalty 1 (0 – 1)].
African Nations Cup 2013
Zambia 1 – 1 Nigeria [Yellow 5 (2 – 3), Red 0, Penalty 2(1 – 1)].
As fourth Official:
Africa Cup of Nations 2013
Mali 1 – 4 Nigeria.