The Board of the Nigeria Football Federation has endorsed the first evaluation report, including sanctions, meted out to erring officials by the Federation’s Referees Committee headed by Mrs Faith Irabor.
It would be recalled that during the inauguration of the NFF Referees Committee, the President, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau had implored them to be of good character and to live up to the ethics of their profession.
As a further step, Alhaji Gusau had handed the General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi the task of always putting a call through to all referees on arrival at their assignment venues, to remind them to discharge their duties efficiently and about the sanctity of fidelity to the laws of the game.
Despite these exhortations and reminders, a few officials had failed to abide by the rules and regulations, failed the diligence test and have accordingly been sanctioned by the Referees Committee. These sanctions have now been approved by the NFF Board.
a. NPFL Matches:
1. WikkiTourists FC vsNiger TornadoesFC:
Madu Patience Ndidi (FIFA), Enugu;Referee.
It was identified that an incident occurred in the penalty area, which she whistled and signaled for a penalty kick and instantly changed her decision for a goal as the ball eventually proceeded and resulted in a goal.
After thorough analysis, it was concluded that:
i. A Foul was committed and the Referee signaled for aPenalty Kick;
ii. That the goal resulted from a dead ball, andtherefore, the advantage clause is not applicable in this instant situation;
iii. That the Referee should have maintained herdecision of penalty kick;
iv. That she committed an error of judgment inallowing the goal.
Decision: She is warned and advised to always consider the larger picture by appropriate scanningand delay decision until there is a clear certainty tojustify a decision.
2. Shooting Stars Sports Club vs Kwara United FC:
Ukah Ndubuisi (FIFA), Imo,Referee Otuwho Morrison,Delta, Assistant Referee 2
It was observed that during a build-up, which resulted in a goal, the AR 2, Otuwho Morrison signaled to penalized the scorer for an offside offense. The Referee complied with his AR to disallowed the goal.
After proper examination of the clip, it was inferred that:
i. As at the time the ball leaves the leg of the kicker (teammate of the scorer), the scorer was not in an offside position;
ii. The AR2 was not properly positioned to justify the decision to penalize the scorer for offside offense.
Decision: The Referee is warned and advised to improveon his performances as the duty to identify/establishoffside position is purely that of the AR;
The AR2, Otuwho Morrison is to be stand down from theleague
3. Rivers United vs Niger Tornadoes
Faro Abdulrahman, Lagos, Referee
The committee noted that after a corner kick was taken, the ball traveled into the penalty area with the defending goalkeeper coming out and attempted to parry the ball away, which he missed and anattacking player kicked the ball and scored. The Referee signaled foran infringement to disallowed the goal.
The committee explored the video clip thoroughly to observedthat:
i. There was no illegal contact that could translate into afoul by the attacking team;
ii. The decision of the Referee to disallowed thegoal is not within the provisions of the Laws of the game, and therefore, unjustified.
Decision: The Referee, Faro Abdulrahman is to be stand-down fromthe league
b. NWFL Matches
Though, Match Officials’ decisions in one of the NWFL matches(Rivers Angels vs Delta Queens) was characterized by controversial/questionable decisions that had adverse effects on the outcome of the match, the committee however considered the that the impact of the decisions of Match Officials in the other reviewedmatches were not serious enough to warrant punitive measures.
1. Rivers Angels vs Delta Queens
Adesola Olufunke, Oyo,Referee Abdulrasheed Rofiat,Oyo, Assistant Referee 1Aladenika Adetutu AssistantReferee 2
The committee observed that two goals of Delta Queens weredisallowed by the Referee, Adesola Olufunke and her active AssistantReferee 1, Abdulrasheed Rofiat.
The committee noted that:
i. In an attack towards the penalty area of Rivers Angels,the defending player attempted a scissors kick and missed the ball;
ii. None of the two attacking players in close proximity tothe defending player committed no offense;
iii. The claim of the Referee that there was a foul/pushingis unfounded and therefore, her decision to disallowed the goalunjustified with the Laws of the Game.
Decision: Referee Adesola Olufunke is to be stand-down from theleague
The second goal disallowed by the Assistant Referee’s signal for anoffside is considered as justified as the committee observed a possibleoffside situation in the run towards the
goal by the attacking players. The Assistant Referees are however,warned and advised to improve in their performances
2. Osun Babes vs Delta Queens
Ogunboye Joy, Ondo, Referee
Olusi Kikelomo, Ondo, Assistant Referee 1 Ajirotutu Esther, Ondo,Assistant Referee 2
The committee noted that the incidences and errors of judgment ofthe Match Officials were not serious enough to warrant punitivemeasures.
Decision: The three (3) Match Officials are warned and advisedto improve in their performances.
3. Adamawa Queens vs Nasarawa Amazons
Paul Beatrice, Taraba, Referee
Elizabeth Yunusa, Gombe, Assistant Referee 1 Wuriba Biwuli Ruth,Plateau, Assistant Referee 2
The committee observed that the incidences and errors of judgment ofthe Match Officials were not serious enough to warrant punitivemeasures.
Decision: The three (3) Match Officials are warned and advisedto improve in their
Other cases came up from the week 5 of the NPFL, which include thefollowing matches and officials:
1. Rivers United vs Wikki Tourists
Taiwo David, Oyo, Referee
Charles Isua, Adamawa, AssistantReferee 1 Akinsanya Segun, Oyo,Assistant Referee 2
Decision: The three (3) Match Officials are to be stand-down fromthe league.
2. Lobi Stars Vs Sunshine Stars
Promise Amadi, Rivers, Referee
Lewis Gwatana, Rivers, Assistant Referee 2
Decision: The Referee and the Assistant Referee 2 are to be stand-down from the league.