The Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) reiterated its commitment on Monday to ensure that referees performing below expectations are removed from the country’s domestic leagues, News About Nigeria reports.
The President of the association, Sanni Zubair, made this statement in Lagos on Monday while condemning the incessant cases of poor officiating by match officials.
The 2023–2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season is now 10 weeks old, but complaints persist about poor officiating, posing a constant threat to the league’s integrity.
Zubair, addressing both players and officials, emphasized that a referee holds the power to make or mar a match. The association has established proper mechanisms to determine punishments for any erring official.
Zubair asserted that godfatherism is not accepted in the league, emphasizing that erring referees will face the full wrath of the principles governing officiating.
Furthermore, he mentioned that the association has already taken punitive measures against some match officials, demonstrating its commitment to instil confidence in players regarding officiating.
In a related development, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) suspended 14 referees on November 6 during the ongoing NPFL season due to poor officiating.
The suspended referees include Bawa Buhari, Chukwuka Jahlove, Akinwale Tomiwa, Saeed Abdulaziz, Jimmy Aimugbonrie, Brown Ebenezer, Atuwho Morrison, Imamu Maliki, Sunday Azi, and the four-match officials involved in a Matchday Six fixture between Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors.
As a testament to the seriousness of the issue, video clips of the Matchday five encounter between Gombe United and Plateau United, as well as the week seven fixture between Bendel Insurance and Remo Stars in Benin, were reviewed for proper analysis.
In the latter match, a potential goal of the season scored by a Remo Stars player was controversially disallowed.