Sports

Seasoned officials to handle NPFL matches

League Management Company (LMC), Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) match commissioners, Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) and other stakeholders have agreed that the remaining six Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches will be officiated by seasoned and astute officials.

In a meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, June 8, 2022, the nation’s football stakeholders in a review of the 2021-22 NPFL season, stressed that certain standards that border on fairplay must be upheld to avoid a repeat of hitches that revolve around relegation and league triumph happenstances.

According to Shehu Dikko, LMC Chairman, the officials and stakeholders must ensure practices that happened in time past during the season’s end must be checkmated by ensuring the fair-play standard is upheld. Dikko, who led a delegation of the LMC to the meeting, underlined that the urge by some clubs to avoid relegation, qualify for continental ticket and league triumph have been a major challenge.

“We took stock of trends in the past seasons and realised that anxiety to either win title, secure continental ticket or avoid relegation sometimes come to play leading to tendencies to disrupt games and or deploy unfair means in trying to get points,” Dikko said in the meeting.

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“So, the meeting we called is to ensure that in all fixtures, fairness will be upheld. We are on the same page with the Committee on this”, he stated. Nevertheless, Dikko who said the LMC will meet with the NFF security committee to discuss the level of security on match days at the respective venues of NPFL matches, commended the leadership of referees and match commissioners appointment committee and NRA for their role in ensuring a credible season so far despite some unexpected challenges, NPFL reported.

Dikko continued: “On Referees, it was agreed that the NRA will encourage their members on the field to be courageous and extra vigilant to interpret the rules and manage games in line with football best practices, especially at this crucial time of the season while the match commissioners are enjoined to be firm and take control of their matches to ensure everything and everyone played by the rules.” Present in the meeting are Davidson Owumi, Salihu Abubakar, Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa Ahlan, Otunba Tade Azeez, Babagana Kalli and the NFF Referees Coordinator/ Secretary Referees Commitee, Mr Zubeiru.

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