Initial NRA Response On Referees Who Handled Remo Stars, Bendel Insurance Match

…Refs Threaten To Down Tools

  1. Ordinarily, it has not been in the fashion of the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, to issue statements whenever  incidents involving referees at  the Nigeria Leagues  occur, but the weekly reports of attacks on referees at the   match venues whenever home teams fail to win on their grounds since the

2018/2019 League commenced  may have caused a change in the association’s   approach to assaults on referees in the NPFL.

  1. Recall that the sore point witnessed so far in the top Nigeria league that

is in Week Three is the “One Week, One Attack on Referee” incidents. In the Week

One match in Jos, Plateau State, Plateau United vs Ifeanyi Uba FC, the referees were beaten blue and back by supporters of home side because the drew at home.

Before the dust raised by the incident could rest following sanctions placed on the Jos stadium amidst heavy fines Plateau Utd  was charged to pay, Gateway

Stadium in Sagamu, Ogun state turned another slaughter ground where referees  suffered serious assault resulting to a  bloodbath in the score draw match;  Remo Stars vs Bendel Insurance.

  1. While the NRA awaits the decision of the league organisers, the LMC, it has

become imperative for the leadership of the referees body to once again not only condemn the barbaric act but also urge football authorities in the country to    wade into matter because the  association is on the verge of asking its members  to keep away from the league to avoid being killed by desperate club officers and their rampaging supporters. A General Assembly of the association shall meet to take a decision on this matter even as the  sanctions placed on  Plateau Utd  based on the earlier resolution that NRA members won’t honour matches on grounds where referees are beaten remains sacrosanct.

  1. It is obvious that the incidents in Jos and Sagamu, coming early in the Abridged League are ominous signs of bad days ahead for the domestic league,  particularly, Nigerian referees taking part in the NPFL, who are at the verge of  losing their lives at match venues if scenes witnessed so far from the violent venues are considered.
  2. It is on this note that the NRA who strongly cares for the welfare of its members and believes that no life of a referee is worth any league match in the   country is considering keeping away from the NPFL matches to avoid a referee   beaten to death. The desire to save the lives of referees forces the NRA to beckon on  the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, LMC and so called NPFL/ Club Owners, to as a matter of urgent concern intervene immediately to save the situation.
  3. It is worthy to note that the NRA working in partnership with the NFF

Referees Committee had engaged in capacity training of the referees for the new  season  and considers all listed and appointed referees fit for the 2018/2019 football league. And if by any omission or commission, a referee conducts   himself or herself in a manner likely to bring the game to disrepute and misconduct that affects the outcome of the game, the NFF Referees Committee,   adjudicates the matter to ascertain proper sanctions to the defaulting   referee(s) while the NRA has an Ethics/ Disciplinary Committee that recommends  further punishment based on the degree of offence. Therefore, is an anathema in    the football system for Club Owners and supporters exploit that to assault the referee.

  1. At this point, suffice it to note that the repeated dastardly acts are affecting the mental psyche of the referees at employing best practices in the  course of discharging their duties at match venues for fear of being attacked,   while their disposition to honour future  NPFL matches  has waned drastically.
  2. The association also frowns at the unsavoury attitude of some of the Club

Officials who out of partisan proclivity and desire to have their clubs win   through unorthodox means make scathing remarks about referees and officiating  knowing well such reactions have capacities of igniting crowd attacks on  the  referees. The NRA wishes to state that Club officials can’t be spectators and   interested bidders in a match and at the same time interpret the Laws of the  Game as unbiased umpires.

  1. All stakeholders are enjoined to preach and work against hooliganism on our league centres to enable the NPFL move forward. The NRA wishes to reconfirm our earlier resolve on ” BEAT A REFEREE, KILL    NIGERIA FOOTBALL “

Kelechi Mejuobi the  NRA National Publicity Secretary, has now revealed that the body may start to boycott league matches after its Annual General scheduled to take place soon. He said this after this week’s Executive Committee Meeting.


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