The NFF Disciplinary Committee on Friday 8th July 2022 rising from it’s sitting in Abuja, Nigeria announced the suspension for One (1) year of the Match Commissioner , Centre Referee and the Assistant Referee 1 for the disputed NPFL Matchday 31 clash between Kano Pillars and Dakkada Fc .
SportsRation gathered the Committee in complete disregard to the verbal and video proofs of assault on the Match officials and threats to their life slammed a One (1) year ban on them for their role in the cancellation of the Dakkada Fc 92nd minute equalizing goal .
Dakkada Fc forward Edidiong Ezekiel had raced through on goal to shoot past goalkeeper Joshua Enahalo of Kano Pillars. The assistant referee and referee duly signalled for a goal before the inglorious attack led by the Former Kano Pillars Chairman Alhaji Janbul.
It is a sad tale of acute insensitivity to the life of the match officials for the NFF Disciplinary Committee to insist that the match officials should have resisted the obvious threat to their life by Kano Pillars Fc and Uphold the decision to award the Dakkada Fc goal.
True in a professionally run league but with the underlisted situations in the NPFL this is unrealistic.
1. Home teams are significantly charged with the responsibility of taking care of match officials welfare throughout their stay because the state FA’s are not mobilized by LMC to carry out this functions.
This Referees would have ended up in the hands of aggrieved Kano Pillars Fc whose Chairman had set tone for would have been a long gory night for the Referees . Who knows !!!.
2. A history of Referee abandonment after serious harassments and sometimes career ending Injuries by the League Management Company . If only Referees are allowed to speak for themselves .
3. Even the League Management Company representative was powerless at the scene after being attacked a signal to complete breakdown of law and order.
If the LMC is battered and helpless at a match venue , whose responsibility is it to guarantee the security of lives at the match venue known for reoccurring cases of Hooliganism.
4. Referees welfare . Findings by SportsRation reveal the match officials are owed match Indemnities running through two seasons . Same league they are by virtue of yesterday’s judgement expected to stake their lives for . Super humans.
5. The back and forth powers rested on the Match Commissioner. The Disciplinary Committee in it’s decision on the match involving Niger Tornadoes Vs Lobi Stars ruled that ;
” The Centre Referee in discharging his functions failed to assert his powers hence without justification complied with an unwarranted directive of the President, Nigeria Football Referee Association (NRA) thereby undermining the authority and powers of the Match Commissioner. Consequently, bringing the game to disrepute.”
This means Referees are subject to the decision of the Match Commissioner. In the case of Imam Malik (Referee for Niger Tornadoes Vs Lobi Stars ) he was suspended by the committee for disobeying the Match Commissioners order to continue the game after complaining of attack by Niger Tornadoes.
Back and forth powers indeed. The Match Commissioner in the Kano Pillars Vs Dakkada Fc game ordered for the cancellation of the goal in his judgement that it was the only way there could leave the stadium in safety .
So the NFF Disciplinary Committee countered itself on the same day by suspending the Referee for the Niger Tornadoes Vs Lobi Stars game for disobeying the orders of the Match Commissioner and the Referees for Kano Pillars Fc vs Dakkada Fc for Obeying the Match Commissioner.
Some questions Nigerian football followers have put forward to the NFF/LMC following the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee is this;
1. After acknowledging the Dakkada Fc goal was duly scored and recorded in a second match report sent to the LMC with evidence of duress during the transmission of a first report , Why has the goal not been acknowledged and their reports respected. Or is the Referees decision no longer Final ?
2. Who should be blamed for the cases of insecurity and Hooliganism at various NPFL Venues this season. The Nigerian Football Federation/ League Management Company or the Referees ?
3. Why should Referees be charged to obey the decisions of the Match Commissioner in the face of noticed Insecurity and threats of Harassment . Is the Match Commissioner in danger of attack ?
3. Aside the usual fines for breaching LMC framework and soft bans , what action has been taken by the league organizers to see an end to the increasing cases of Hooliganism.
4. When will a Committee be setup to look into the backlog of Indemnities owed to the Referees who are expected to be super human ?
To crown this submission
When will NPFL matches be transmitted on TV again ?