Friday, June 14, 2024

Disgraceful Officiating: Nigeria Football Federation’s Sledgehammer Falls On Referee

Football refereeing in Nigeria was again put to the test over the weekend following an unconventional goal that a referee, Zaharadeen Nasiru allowed to stand in one of the Nigeria second tier football league matches, the  National League (NNL).

Over the years, Nigerian referees have been overlooked from officiating at international tournaments owing to the appaling standard of officiating in the country.

In the 10 years, there is less than five Nigerian referees engaged even in continental youth competitions.

In this weekend’s episode, a video footage went viral on Saturday night as an unconventional goal was allowed during the clash between Jigawa Golden Stars and Sporting Supreme.

A scorer of a goal leaped high, as if in basketball duel, held the ball with both hands and threw it into the net. Referee Zaharadeen Nasiru was just two metres away and was directly facing the ‘scorer’.   

Jigawa Golden Stars secured a 2-1 victory, but one of the goals was a glaring handball.

The incident sparked debate within the Nigerian football community, raising concerns about the officiating standards and the reason Nigerian referees are not regularly selected for international competitions.

In response to the controversy, the Nigeria Football Federation Refereeing Development Committee Unit took swift action by expelling Referee Nasiru from the league and refereeing in general, citing the incident as detrimental to the reputation of refereeing and the game in Nigeria.

The statement reads: “Given the serious nature of the decisions taken in your week 17 match involving Jigawa Golden Stars FC and Sporting Supreme FC played in Dutse wherein your actions brought Refereeing and the game in Nigeria into disrepute, I am directed to notify you that you have been expelled with immediate effect from the league and refereeing generally.”

Despite the controversy, Sporting Supreme remains in second place in their group with 19 points, while Jigawa Golden Stars sit fifth with 14 points.

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