By Daud Olatunji, Abeokuta.
The Ogun State Football Association has called for more security personnel to be deployed to stadia during league matches to ensure the safety of match officials and football fans.
The Chairman of the state FA, Ganiu Majelodunmi, made the demand while speaking to journalists on Thursday, after the association’s congress, held at the FA House in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Majelodunmi said it had become necessary to have more security agents within and around stadia during marches following attacks on a referee and other match officials during a state league match in Ijebu-Ode stadium earlier this week.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Referees Association, Mike Obafunso, had raised the alarm over the safety of referees and other match officials in the state, and expressed displeasure while addressing the congress over the attack on the referee during the match.
He said, “I want to appeal to FA to help stop these attacks on referees.
Yesterday (Wednesday), a referee was attacked at the Ijebu-Ode stadium. We want this association to do something about this.”
The FA chairman, while reacting, expressed shock over the incident, disclosing that the association had suspended the club from participating in the league.
He added that the team coach had also been handed over to the police for his role in the attack of the referee.
The FA chairman said, “The disciplinary committee of the Ogun State Football Association is doing its best to make sure we eradicate referees’ attack.
“The report I got two days ago was that some of the clubs that did that have been expelled from the league and will be banned for five years and will not be able to appear in the league.
“The coach in question has been handed over to the police yesterday (Wednesday) by the Ijebu-Ode Football Council. He is going to write an undertaking that such will not happen again.
“We are going to increase the number of security operatives to make sure that such do not happen again in the future.”
Majelodunmi added that the association, in preparation for its forthcoming election, had constituted the electoral and appeals committee to conduct a free, fair and credible poll.