Nigeria international, Odion Ighalo, has seen his goal tally of 14 in the premier league reduced to 13 after one of his goals was ruled out by the Premier League’s Goal Accreditation Panel.
Sitting on Tuesday, the panel cancelled Ighalo’s goal in the 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Boxing Day, meaning his 2015 record of 30 goals shrinks to 29.
Ighalo’s shot deflected off Chelsea defender Gary Cahill by a few metres, but the ball was headed directly at goal.
The goal has been declared an own goal and awarded to Cahill.
The Nigerian international’s coach at Watford, Quique Sanchez Flores, slammed the decision of the panel.
“It’s unfair. Ighalo’s shot was on target, the deflection off the defender only changed the direction by this much (gesturing an inch between his thumb and index finger),” Flores said.
“It’s strange – for me, it’s not fair. So we have Ighalo with one goal less when Cahill was trying to stop it? Fortunately, Ighalo is very strong and confident. It is not a problem for him.”
In a twist of thoughts, the panel awarded Watford’s Ben Watson the club’s goal against Manchester City on January 2nd.
Man City’s Aleksandar Kolarov deflected the ball into the net from a corner taking at the far end in the match; Watson did not claim the goal on that day but the goal accreditation panel awarded him still.
Ighalo’s name was removed as the goal scorer and his tally brought down to 13 on the premier league’s website, a few hours after the decision.