In a disturbing turn of events, mayhem ensued at Malumfashi Stadium in Katsina state as fans of Malumfashi FC attacked match officials and officials of Sokoto United during a week-7 fixture of the Nigeria National League (NNL).
Recent statistics label Malumfashi Stadium as one of the most dangerous football grounds in Northern Nigeria, primarily due to the notorious and aggressive behavior of its home fans.
The stadium had been under lock and keys for several months, as the NNL organizers deemed it unfriendly to football due to the violent history of the home fans.
However, the ban was lifted recently, allowing Malumfashi FC to return to their home ground. Unfortunately, the resumption was marred by chaos during a match against Sokoto United on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
Visitng Sokoto United took an early lead, intensifying the pressure on the home team, which agitated the Malumfashi fans.
In an alarming incident just before halftime, the fans flooded the pitch after breaching the perimeter fencing, chasing one of the Assistant Referees to a corner.
Security personnel intervened by deploying tear gas.
The oppositionplayers, fearing potential molestation or attack, hesitated to enter the dressing room at halftime.
The coaches, recognizing the players’ distressed state, informed officials that their team was not in the right frame of mind to continue the match.
Despite much persistence, the center referee ultimately called off the game at the start of the second half, citing concerns over security and player safety.
The decision to cancel the match further infuriated the home fans, leading to a violent assault on Sokoto United’s coach, Mansur Abdullahi. He sustained injuries to his face and was left in a battered state.
Swift intervention from the state Football Association and stadium officials was necessary to rush Abdullahi to the hospital, where he received treatment and was eventually revived.
The incident highlights the need for enhanced security measures and a thorough investigation into the behavior of fans at Malumfashi Stadium.
Such acts of violence not only jeopardize the safety of players and officials but also tarnish the image of football as a sport that should be enjoyed in a spirit of fair competition and camaraderie.