The Chairman, Interim Management Committee (IMC), Gbenga Elegbeleye, on Thursday in Abuja explained that increment of referees’ indemnity by 50% and upfront payment of the money is a major reason the match officials are on top of their games leading to impressive results recorded in the League.
He also attributed the calmness of home fans to IMC stance on three points deduction for home violence caused by the fans.
“The away wins and draws recorded in Match-day 1 and 2 showed the level of officiating and sincerity of purpose of the officials and also how the home fans have been able to control their emotion.” Elegbeleye told journalists in Abuja.
He continued, “A perfect example is Bendel Insurance at home where away team (Plateau United) were given a penalty at extra time without home team raising an eye brow. This didn’t happen in the last few years. Again, Remo Stars scored their wining goal in Gombe at 89th minute.
“What we have been doing to make this happen is that, we increased referees’ emoluments by 50% and transportation allowance by 40% and again all the allowance and emoluments were paid a day before the match day. So that we will not have reasons to owe referees the way they were owed in the past.
“Referees have not been paid for past three years. But now, we just told our cooperate sponsor, don’t give us the money, keep the money in your own account. All we need to do is to supply you with account details of the referees and the company pays directly into their accounts.
“Secondly, we also pay for their accomodation and feeding anywhere they go for officiating. So, to whom much is given much is expected.
The fans also compose themselves because they know we are serious when we said three points will be deducted from any team whose fans cause violence at the stadium. If any team is caught inflicting crisis on the match officials or away fans or team, we will definitely deduct three points. And in this abridged league, it is easier for a club to go on relegation after losing three points. And again, the clubs themselves know that the fans will not do them any good if they continue to behave like hooligans and fans themselves know that they’re football supporters not hooligans. ” He concluded.
In the Match-day 1 of the 2023 NPFL, four away wins and four away draws were recorded while one away win and three draws.were recorded on Match-day 2. No violence has been recorded in the league despite home teams losing points.