Nigeria Referees Association responds to Media attack on members
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Nigeria Referees Association responds to Media attack on members

- Fingers Enyimba Fc as sponsor of Write ups against match officials.

The National Publicity secretary of the Nigeria Referees Association has issued a rejoinder to a publication by one Chuks Ogbu with the title ” Poor Officiating over the years has been identified as one of the major problems bedeviling the Nigeria Professional Football League”.

In the Statement signed by the Associations Publicity secretary Mr Kelechi Mejuobi the NRA frowned at the Unfortunate commentary and also condemned the unsportsmanlike conduct of Enyimba international football clubs Chairman who according to the report barges into Match officials dressing rooms whenever results do not go in their favour.

Here is an Unedited copy of the NRA statement.

Re-Poor Officiating over the years has been identified as one of the major problems bedeviling the Nigeria Professional Football League.

By Kelechi Mejuobi.

The attention of the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, has once again been drawn to another bile against the referees’ body, and going by content, is strongly believed to be a stroke from Enyimba International FC of Aba, Abia State.

In the said unfortunate commentary from one Chuks Ogbu, suspected to be one of club’s e-goons, the writer showcases a position that is merely a figment of Enyimba’s imagination about referees whenever outcome of matches doesn’t favour the Aba based soccer outfit.

In the unfortunate commentary, the Enyimba undercover writer wrongly posits that despite “commendable strides recorded by the LMC in terms of making sure that the matches are played on playable and TV friendly pitches, it still remains sad that the Nigerian Referees always compromise standards”

The uninformed writer, crying wolf because of the match result of Enyimba not only went on to expose his bias against Nigerian Referees but also further showcases crass ignorance about the operations of the country’s arbiters at the international scene by claiming that “little wonder Nigerian Referees are not considered good enough to take charge of proceedings in continental and global circuit”

While the NRA may not want to join issues with the insipid postulation of the said Ogbu which has been distributed in the print and social media, it is pertinent to state that the write up speaks volumes of petty lies and self manufactured fallacies coming from a club and their sympathizers wallowing in partisan proclivities.

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For the sake of the reading public who may have been misformed by the jaundiced information, the NRA wishes to give the piece a response.

A cursory review of the invective from the said Chuks Ogbu, whose identity in the domestic league, as an independent observer, competent to assess the performances of referees remains remote, judging from the views expressed in the indicates that the writer and content of the write up are only sympathetic to Enyimba FC; which is a strong signal that the Aba based club is behind the media attack on Nigerian Referees.

Very unmindful of the about 150 matches played so far this season, it is astonishing that the only reason for Ogbu and Enyimba collaborators to cast aspersions on Nigeria Referees was because Enyimba lost a game in Owerri on Sunday and perhaps another one it lost last season, including the last home game against Tornadoes in Aba, both teams shared points.

The unguarded outburst of the writer, suspected to be Enyimba’s pen mercantilist, not only failed to remember the officiating prowess of Nigeria Referees when the Aba club recorded away wins, but also chose to maintain incriminating silence on the performance of officials that saw the Aba side earn several away wins and vital draws this season and the previous ones. Maybe, it was the Enyimba made Ariara Market Referees that manufactured their away wins and draws while members of the NRA handled the ones the writer writer was particular about in the piece. Maybe, the clubs who lost and drew Enyimba in their respective homes this season and previous ones would have also hired paid writers to hurl missiles against Nigeria referees for allowing Enyimba run away with points.

More pronounced is that the paid writer, Ogbu also feigned ignorance that his Enyimba team remain part of the sordid absurdities of the Nigeria league as the club chairman, Chief Anyansi Agwu has been accused of relegating courtesy to match officials and behaving in a foul manner by barging into the Dressing Room of the Enyimba Stadium, Aba, to harass, intimidate and attempt to attack referees for not doing the bid of the team.

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It might interest readers to note that the NRA has also received reports and also investigating allegations against Enyimba club Chairman over his penchant to go after referees in the dressing room if the scores do not favour his team at Enyimba Stadium, Aba, during half time and after the game.

On the Heartland vs Enyimba game, Ogbu also tried to twist events in the game as a weapon to castigate the NRA. It is important to note that all claims in his report are nothing than monumental falsehood intended to blackmail the referee of the match; Quadri Adebimpe, a Lagos based FIFA referee.

For clarity of purpose and to put the records straight, FIFA Quadri remains one of the best arbiters in the country and eminently qualified to handle the Oriental Derby as against the wishy-washy tales contained in Ogbu’s write up.

Instead of embarking on media claims and unwarranted public trials aimed at painting referees black in the eyes of the public, Ogbu and his Enyimba backers should know the right channels to lay complaints against any official they feel didn’t officiate in line with the Laws of the Game to enable appropriate authorities look into the matter.

The NRA can’t be swayed by the antics of clubs and their media backers in the mould of Ogbu to derail in the desire to provide fair and firm officiating to all teams.

NRA traduces like Ogbu and his ilks should also know that both CAF and FIFA, as against his unfounded claims, consider Nigeria referees of International cadre worthy to handle continental and global matches when necessary. Space here may not be enough to reel out Nigerian referees who have this year handed international matches to handle.

While assuring stakeholders of quality officiating in the ongoing NPFL, the NRA urges readers to ignore the concocted make-belief write up of Ogbu and his co-travelers like Enyimba as it was only intended to besmirch referees in Nigeria.

Kelechi Mejuobi is the National Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA.

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