NPFL: NFF hammer falls on 14 refs amid controversial decisions

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Refereeing Development Committee/Unit has issued preliminary suspensions to 14 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) referees over acts that can bring the game into disrepute with below par performance in various matches in the ongoing NPFL.

The move comes in response to concerns regarding the perceived poor performances of these match officials in several NPFL matches.

The NFF Refereeing Development Committee/Unit, in a communique addressed to the Chief Operating Officer of the NPFL, Davidson Owumi expressed their commitment to upholding the standards of refereeing in the league.

The letter, dated November 6, 2023, highlighted the importance of technical evaluation and the need to ensure that match officials’ decisions are just and accurate.

The matches and officials affected by these suspensions are as follows:

i. Niger Tornadoes vs Rivers United (Matchday 2) – Referee Bawa Buhari (GM)
ii. Niger Tornadoes vs Bayelsa United (Matchday 4) – Referee Chukwuka Jahlove (AN) and Assistant Referee Akinwale Tomiwa (OY)
iii. Sporting Lagos vs Niger Tornadoes (Matchday 5) – Assistant Referee II: Zachariah Nde (DT)
iv. Gombe United vs Plateau United (Matchday 5) – Referee: Saeed Abdulaziz (KT) and Assistant Referee Jimmy Aimugbonrie (ED)
v. Kwara United vs Sporting Lagos (Matchday 6) – Referee: Brown Ebenezer (AB) and Assistant Referee Atuwho Morrisson (DT)
vi. Sunshine Stars vs Abia Warriors (Matchday 6) – All four Officials
vii. Bendel Insurance vs Remo Stars (Matchday 7) – Referee: Imamu Maliki U. (KN) and Assistant Referee Sunday Azi (PL).

The NFF Refereeing Development Committee/Unit has called for the submission of the full video recordings of these matches to facilitate a comprehensive evaluation of the officials’ decisions and performances.