The big hammer of the NFF Referees Committee has fallen on three referees whose performance has been adjudged to be low, costly and unacceptable in the on-going Glo Premier League.
At a meeting it held on Friday, as part of week –long activities to review the performance of match officials since the beginning of the season with a view to offering tips for better performance in the second stanza, the Committee suspended Referees Alaba Abiodun and Francis Agbaegbu and Assistant Referee Abubakar Garba Yusuf till the end of the season following investigation and critical analysis of their performances.
Abiodun (39; Ogun State) was found guilty of very poor perfomance in a Week 16 match between Dolphins FC and Wikki Tourists in Port Harcourt, during which he awarded a questionable penalty. Agbaegbu (39; Niger State), was found culpable for gross misapplication of the rule on Added Time, in allowing an added time of 16 minutes in a Week 7 match between Shooting Stars and Warri Wolves in Ibadan, which certainly favoured the home team.
Assistant Referee Yusuf (40; Kaduna State), was found guilty of awarding one faulty offside decision and two wrong penalties which altered the final result of the match between FC IfeanyiUbah and Abia Warriors last weekend.
The Committee was convinced that Referee Sani Mohammed (Kaduna State) did not fully brief his assistants before the said match (FC IfeanyiUbah/Abia Warriors), and has been warned to ensure pre –match briefings to his team henceforth. Also, Referee China Blessed (29; Rivers State) is to be kept under watch for his performance in the Week 16 match between Enyimba FC and Abia Warriors.
In the release signed by the Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, the Committee resolved that additional measures be put in place to sustain the quality of refereeing in the Glo Premier League that has been globally hailed during the first half of the season.
During the seminars, the Committee was able to present current teaching materials acquired from world football –governing body, FIFA, including new scripts on current interpretations on handball and offside.
It would be recalled that earlier in the season, the Committee had suspended Referee John Charles (Enugu State) and O. Matador (Abia State) for poor performance in a Week 4 match between Sunshine Stars and Dolphins FC in Akure.