In response to perceived subpar performances, the Nigeria Football Federation’s Referees’ Development Committee/Unit has taken a decisive stance, suspending 14 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) referees.
Faith Irabor, the Head of the NFF’s Referees’ Development Committee/Unit, communicated this move in a letter to Davidson Owumi, NPFL’s Chief Operating Officer, delivered on Monday in Abuja.
Suspension cites poor performance in seven matches
The decision to place these referees on preliminary suspension stems from their involvement in seven specific NPFL matches.
The letter highlighted the following matches and officials:
Niger Tornadoes vs Rivers United (Matchday 2) – Referee Bawa Buhari (GM)
Niger Tornadoes vs Bayelsa United (Matchday 4) – Referee Chukwuka Jahlove (AN) and Assistant Referee Akinwale Tomiwa (0Y)
Sporting Lagos vs Niger Tornadoes (Matchday 5) – Assistant Referee II, Zachariah Nde (DT)
Gombe United vs Plateau United (Matchday 5) – Referee Saeed Abdulaziz (KT) and Assistant Referee Jimmy Aimugbonrie (ED)
Kwara United vs Sporting Lagos (Matchday 6) – Referee Brown Ebenezer (AB) and Assistant Referee Atuwho Morrisson (DT)
Sunshine Stars vs Abia Warriors (Matchday 6) – All four officials
Bendel Insurance vs Remo Stars (Matchday 7) – Referee Imamu Maliki U (KN) and Assistant Referee Sunday Azi (PL).
The letter from the NFF’s Referees’ Development Committee/Unit also requested the provision of complete video footage of these matches.
This step aims to facilitate a thorough evaluation of the decisions made and the overall performance of the suspended officials.
Lobi returns to League summit
Meanwhile, two matches were played in the Nigeria Professional Football League on Monday night.
Veteran midfielder Samuel Tiza Iorwuese scored either side of the halftime break to hand Lobi Stars an excellent 2-1 win at Bayelsa United.
Enugu Rangers and Shooting Stars climbed to the top of the league table after impressive home wins on Sunday, but Lobi’s latest victory catapults them back to the league summit.
The Makurfi-based campaigners now boast 14 points from their first seven matches, one more than their closest challengers.
In Lagos, a Junior Lokosa double and another lovely strike from Jonathan Alukwu powered Sporting Lagos to a brilliant 3-0 win over visiting Kano Pillars.