Abuja Unity Cup: AMU FC Chairman, Players Beat Referee To Coma, Face Ban

Abuja Unity Cup: AMU FC Chairman, Players Beat Referee To Coma, Face Ban

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…I Didn’t Fight Anybody, I will Pay The Hospital Bills – AMU FC Chairman

…We Have Reported The Case To FCT Police, FA – Organisers

By Amaechi Agbo

But for the timely intervention of stakeholders, officials and organisers of the Abuja Unity Cup Tournament on Friday, a sad story would have engulfed the FCT football fraternity after the Chairman of AMU FC and some of his players allegedly attacked an Assistant Referee 2, (AR2) Mr Akambi Sanusi James during their match against Derby FC.

In the ill-tempered match which AMU FC lost 4-2 to the Derby FC at the ongoing 4th edition of the Abuja Unity Cup Tournament, the AR2 was attacked, allegedly, by the chairman and players of the losing team and as he was beaten black and blue before he was rescued and rushed to a hospital

Best Choice Sports gathered exclusively, that due to AR2 Sanusi’s bad situation, he was rejected by two hospitals in the FCT before he was accepted and admitted at the National Hospital.

“He was taken to Police Hospital Area One, but he was rejected. He was also rejected by the Garki Hospital before the National Hospital where he was accepted at the Trauma Center,” an eyewitness told this paper over the weekend.

The Eyewitness went further to explain further
“On Friday in the second round match between AMU Motors FC vs Derby FC, AMU lost 2-4 to Derby FA.

“After the final whistle the chairman of AMU went and slapped the Assistant Referee. From there AMU players started beating the referee. It was war on Friday, they almost killed the AR2 if not our Intervention.”

…I Didn’t Fight Anybody – AMU Chairman, Ọla Abdul

However, AMU FC Chairman, Mr Ọla Abdul has dissociated himself from the Friday’s unfortunate incident claiming that he did not fight anybody. Speaking with our correspondent in an interview, Mr Abdul blamed the attack on the fans even as he questioned the officiating by the match umpires during the match.

Mr Abdul who accused the organisers of a calculated plan to favour the Derby FC team “because they are owned by White People” said the referee’s decision to cancel a goal after he had awarded same caused the fracas.

“Actually what happened on Friday, Referees are not perfect, even where they have higher technology, the VAR. We know that they are not perfect but before you cancel a goal that you have awarded, that means you have a VAR to cancel the goal.

“Not after the centre referee has awarded the goal, the linesman (Assistant Referee) did not raise his flag and then a man called you from outside, said he is the chairman of referees, and told you that the ball is handball because the opponent is complaining that it’s a handball.

“Because of that, you cancelled the goal. Even then, the boys wanted to stop playing and walk out of the field but I said ‘no, stay and finish the match’. It is not a new thing having bad officiating. The same bad officiating happened in our last match,” Mr Abdul explained.

He went further, “The disallowed goal was in the first half. We were two-zero down, the referee gave them a penalty in the first five minutes of the game. A penalty that was not a penalty and they scored, we continued playing. After some minutes we conceded again making 2-0. We then scored the goal, the referee pointed to the centre and the players were about to restart the game.

“The man who said he is the chairman of referee called the centre referee out of the field (I don’t know his name) but I know him as part of the referees. He has officiated our match before.

“He called him (the centre referee) and told him that it was a handball and the referee went and cancelled the goal he had awarded.

“After the match, normally they will talk to each other after the final whistle. I was talking to the referee asking him if that was how to officiate a game. Before we could come back, we saw fans that came into the field and started throwing punches and fighting the players. The fight was in the down post but I was in the middle of the field talking to the referee. That is just the incident that happened.”

He said that he has spoken to the injured referee and offered to defray his hospital bills.

“I have spoken to him, he is not in the hospital. They have discharged him.

“I told him to forward the hospital bill to me, I will pay. They said is ₦115, 000 or thereabout. No problem, I will pay the hospital bill.

“The referees are the ones that caused this issue and the issue there is, the people (Derby FC owners) are white people and you are ready to please them and displease us.

“I have not heard anything like that (about being banned) I didn’t fight anybody. They can tell you. I was in the field, I didn’t fight anybody. Just normal talk, we talked to each other asking whether the officiating was good. Before we knew anything, fight has started at the down (other side of the pitch). It was the fans that instigated the fight.”

…We Have Reported The Case To FCT Police, FA – Organisers

The chairman, AMAC Football Coaches Council, Mr Kenny Daniel Owojori has said the organisers of the tournament have reported the incident to the Nigeria police, FCT Command as well as to the FCT Football Association for actions.

Mr Owojori said the Council reported the matter to the police in order to guarantee the safety of the referee while the FCT FA will take disciplinary actions against AMU FC Chairman and their players.

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