3 NNL Referees Suspended Over Questionable Officiating
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By Amaechi Agbo
With the Nigeria National League, NNL finally kicking off over the weekend after more than a year, three referees that oversaw the match between Apex Krane vs Bayelsa United in Agbor, Delta State have been suspended from officiating matches, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report
The affected referees are: Chukwuneke Raluchukwu (centre ref) Arugwu Peace and Nwaduke Stephen.
The trio are accused of doing anything but god officiating during the match which held at Agbor in Delta State and therefore have been put under suspension pending investigation into their responsibilities in the match.
A reporter who covered the game had this to say about the match “The anticipated glamour following the return of the Nigeria National League NNL was blighted in Agbor, Delta State by bad officiating from centre referee Chukwuneke Raluchukuwu and Arugwu Peace both from Anambra state as they ensured that Apex Krane Fc beat 2009 Nigeria Professional Football League champions Bayelsa United by two goals to one in a Match Day One clash.”
Following reports of bad officiating in the match, the NFF Referee Committee have suspended the three referees from handling any other league match pending when they appear before it for questioning.
A release by the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA Tuesday notes that “The following referees who handled the Week 1 NNL Match in Agbor; Apex Krane vs Bayelsa United: Raluchukwu C. AN, Arugwu P.Anand Nwaduke S AN have been temporarily stepped down for future appointments for matches pending when the (they) appear before the NFF Referees Committee.”
It is not certain what their punishment could be if found guilty but a lot of people have called to question the capacity and ability of the affected referees to handle league games in the country.
President of Nigeria Wresting Federation, Daniel Ighali is among those who have called the Nigeria Football Federation and the NNL to stamp out bad eggs in among officials in the league and save the league from further embarrassments.
“The NNL leadership needs to be firm with officiating officials. Bayelsa Utd vs Apex Crane FC Is the most despicable and disgraceful officiating I have seen in a very long time. Erring referees should be put away from officiating the beautiful game. Sickening!!!” the former Olympic medallists said on Saturday.
Bayelsa United coach, Dieprieye Teibowei expressed disappointment over the match and said the scoreline did not reflect the efforts of his players, describing the decisions by the referee as embarrassing to Nigeria football.
He said if match official in the NNL were not properly checked the quality of the league would continue to dwindle, pointing out that he was pleased the performance of the lads despite the defeat.