OPINION: Steming The Incessant Cases Of Poor Refereeing In Nigerian Leagues
Referee Alajiki Joel may have rightly been santioned for alleged bad officiating in the VFC vs Stores NNL clash.
But don’t kill the Ref yet. Rather, I urge you to blame @thenff (Nigeria Football Federation) & the Nigeria Football Referees Association (NRA) for stalling on Regular Retraining of Refs.
Unarguably, no Ref can optimaly function without good knowledge of the constantly evelving Laws of the Game.
Now, there is a clearly marked difference between Biased & Poor Officiating.
Biased Officiating is clearly an act of Refs manipulating result of matches by taking sides. Poor Officiating is a product of Ref Incompetence, or genuine mistakes in Regs applying the Laws.
In other words, Biased Officiating are mistakes originating from the mindset, while Poor Officiating refers to mistakes of the head
However, I believe our football is plagued more by Poor Officiating, than Biased Officiating, which many are quick to point at, when results don’t go there way.
But like I already said no Ref can give what he does not have. It is important we compare notes. How do top leagues run their Refereeing Units. How do they recruit, train, grade, promote & discipline their Arbiters, and what is uptainable in Nigeria. Comparatively. Why has the levels of today’s Refs in Nigeria dropped drastically, compared to the Bokaji Okubule, Linus Mba & Late Gen. Yabilsu eras?
This is why I asked that we blame @thenff & the NRA
Investing Millions of Naira in the Leagues and Clubs, without commisurate spending in Refereeing development is worse than playing the Ostrich.
Take for an example, Enugu Rangers can spend N15 million to honour a match in Maiduguri, against ElKanemi.
After a long trip, they played very well, but lost because a Referee wrongly awarded an 88th min penalty against the visitors
With NFF & NRA not steming these re-occouring wrongs, a replication of such scenarios, can produce dire consequences, like wrong champions & representatives for CAF’s Inter Club Competitions.
Note, suspending erring Refs is a knee-jark measure. If we stick to this alone, all Refs may soon be suspended
The way out of this quagmire that has been raging for a while now, and potends the tendacy to spiral out of control with irreperable consequences to our football; is to revisit the processes of our Recruitments & Training of Referees. Restore the NRA to it’s glory days when reputable former & active FIFA Refs held sway. The NRA and it’s leadership as constituted in the last 10 years lacks the needed professionalism server to reverse this trend, not alone churn out elite and quality Referees for our various leagues.⚽🇳🇬 @Undisputed_Jsam @PinnickAmaju
By Chinedum OHANUSI
Former Secretary FCT Football Referees’ Council, and FCT SWAN. &
Retired Nigeria Premier League Referee 1998 – 2006.