In a bid to maintain the integrity and fairness of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), the NFF Refereeing Development Committee has taken decisive action against a perceived poor performances of referees and assistant referees in seven matches, reports.
The NFF Refereeing Development Committee, on the 6th of November, 2023, expressed its concerns over the perceived poor performances of referees and assistant referees in certain NPFL matches. The committee, in a letter addressed to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the NPFL, outlined their reservations and presented a list of affected seven matches and 14 officials who have come under scrutiny.
In response to these concerns, the NFF Refereeing Development Committee has taken the unprecedented step of temporarily stepping down the officials involved in these matches, pending a thorough technical evaluation of their decisions. This evaluation aims to determine whether the referees and assistant referees were correct or erroneous in their calls.
The affected matches and officials are as follows:
1. Niger Tornadoes 1 – 0 Rivers United (Matchday 2) – Referee Bawa Buhari (GM)
2. Niger Tornadoes 1 – 0 Bayelsa United (Matchday 4) – Referee Chukwuka Jahlove (AN) and Asst. Referee Akinwale Tomiwa (OY)
3. Sporting Lagos 2 -1 Niger Tornadoes (Matchday 5) – Assistant Referee II: Zachariah Nde (DT)
4. Gombe United 1 – 0 Plateau United (Matchday 5) – Referee: Saeed Abdulaziz (KT) and Assistant Referee Jimmy Aimugbonrie (ED)
5. Kwara United 2 – 1 Sporting Lagos (Matchday 6) – Referee: Brown Ebenezer (AB) and Assistant Referee Atuwho Morrisson (DT)
6. Sunshine Stars 2 – 1 Abia Warriors (Matchday 6) – All four officials
7. Bendel Insurance 1 – 0 Remo Stars (Matchday 7) – Referee: Imamu Maliki U. (KN) and Assistant Referee Sunday Azi (PL)
Furthermore, the committee has requested the full video recordings of these matches for a comprehensive and impartial assessment of the decisions made and the performances of the officials. The goal is to ensure that the NPFL maintains the highest standards of refereeing and fairness in its matches.
This proactive move by the NFF Refereeing Development Committee is expected to uphold the league’s reputation for excellence, transparency, and accountability while assuring fans, players, and stakeholders of the league’s unwavering commitment to fair play and sporting integrity.
The NPFL and the entire football community eagerly await the results of the technical evaluations and the subsequent actions taken by the committee to address any shortcomings in refereeing performance, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of the league.
By Nnamdi Ezekute