NFF bans three refs, vows to punish others


By Abiodun Adewale.

Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Referees’ Committee, Faith Irabor, has assured that the body will continue to keep the men in the middle on their toes in order to rid Nigerian football of bad officiating, The PUNCH reports.

This is coming in the wake of the recent suspension of three officials by the NFF Referees’ Committee over questionable decisions in their games.

In a notice of suspension for poor performance signed by the secretary of the referees’ committee, Sani Zubairu, the body summoned two officials over incidents of poor officiating in the games between 3SC and Kwara United on match-day two as well as the centre referee of the game between Rivers United and Niger Tornadoes on match-day three.

“The following referees are hereby suspended until they appear before the Referees Committee for explanations on what happened in their matches they were involved as follows: 1. Shooting Stars vs Kwara Utd – Ndubuisi Ukah – Imo; Otuwho Morrision – Delta – Asst. Ref Ii; 2. Rivers Utd vs Niger Tornadoes – Faro Abdulrahman – Lagos,” the statement read.

Before now, the committee had suspended nine officials for questionable officiating in the Nigeria Women’s Football League.

“What we have done in the first instance is purely administrative and it is for the time being. Until we video what the referees have done before we know what to do. So, we have suspended them for now, pending when they meet with the referees’ committee,” Irabor told The PUNCH.

Meanwhile, officials of the Nigeria Professional Football League clubs, fans and journalists have called for more games to be broadcast live in the league, saying it will curb dubious officiating.

Chairman of Kwara United, Kumbi Titiloye, said, “Live coverage of matches has not really gone around this season. So, as much as it is supposed to help check officiating, there are still many grounds to cover. If we can have more games broadcast live, it will definitely help us to achieve this.”

League journalist, Fisayo Dairo, also opined that it was not enough for only clubs to stream matches.

“The importance of live TV coverage can’t be over emphasised. We have also had controversial decisions in live games, but it is not as often as in games that are not live. So, I believe if we have as many games as possible streamed live by the league body, and on TV, everyone would want to give their best, including the players,” Dairo noted.

Also, a fan of Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, Musa Tafida, alleged that some clubs were not given media attention. He claimed that Wikki Tourists also had a goal disallowed against Bayelsa United on Sunday but the video didn’t go viral, unlike the Rivers United vs Niger Tornadoes incident on Tuesday.

“I think the reports have been one-sided. No one is talking about the disallowed goal of WIkki Tourists against Bayelsa United in Yenagoa. There will be more cases like this that won’t get attention if we keep focusing on one side,” Tafida noted.