NNL Matchday 13 Fixtures Postponed Over Late Appointment Of Officials
By Amaechi Agbo
Some matchday 13 fixtures of the 2020/2021 Nigeria National League, NNL scheduled to hold this Saturday have been hit with last-minute postponements following late appointments of match officials, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Some of the matchday 13 clashes meant to hold in various centres across the country suffered postponment due to late arrival of match officials to match venues.
For instance, the match between Nnewi United and Dynamite FC as well as Niger Tornadoes FC Vs ABS FC were all postponed and rescheduled to hold on Sunday, May 9, 2021.
Vandrezzer FC clash with Shooting Stars earlier scheduled to hold by 4pm on Saturday was replanned to hold on Sunday, May 9 by 8am at the Soccer Temple, Agege, Lagos.
“The Nigeria National League (NNL) Southern Conference Group B1 tie between Vandrezzer FC of Lagos and Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, has been shifted to Sunday morning.
“The matchday twelve encounter earlier scheduled for today (Saturday, at the Agege Township Stasium, could not hold as scheduled due to the late arrival of match officials,” Shooting Stars said in a release.
“The match will no longer hold today (Saturday) because the match officials were not informed of their appointment until late Friday night, and considering the distance of their bases, there was no way they could make it.
“The centre referee is from Enugu State while the assistant referees are from Rivers and Akwa Ibom states respectively. There was no way they could find their way down to Lagos with the late notice,” the club added
We are Not Owing Referees – NNL Official
An official of the NNL told Bestchoicesports.com.ng that the League management is not owing match officials till date apart from the matches slated to be played this weekend.
The source who spoke in confidence in response to this paper’s enquiries on why match officials were appointed late for matcday duties expressed dismay over the development.
“We are not responsible for appointment of match officials for the league. There are those whose duty it is. Ours is to release the fixtures and send to them and expect the matches to go on as planned.
“We are not owing match officials. We have paid them up to date. The only match duty we have not paid them is this weekend’s matches. Sometimes they are paid before the matches and we have been working harmoniously.
“But right now we don’t understand this issues about late appointment of officials and postponment of matches. This is not helping the league,” the source said.
“Clubs do call in to ask about who takes care of the cost of logistics incurred by the affected clubs for the extra day.
“If you recall, this same issue happened during the opening day which forced matches to be postponed. We need everybody to help us grow the league,” the source said.
When contacted for clarifications, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Referees Association, Kelechi Mejuobi told Bestchoicesports.com.ng that “I am not aware of late appointment of referees.”
On further enquiry to know when the appointments were made, he replied “You don’t ask me such a question. You don’t ask me when appointment was released.”