By Oluwole Francis
Chairman, Referees’ Committee of the NFF has said that referees who underperform in the league would be severely dealt with in the new football season.
Nigeria Professional Football League season got off to a disgraceful start after FC Ifeanyi Ubah abandoned the opening game with hosts Kano Pillars leading 1-0.
Ifeanyi Ubah protested when they appear to have drawn level from a free kick just before the end of the first half.
Center referee Folusho Ajayi from Oyo State, blew her whistle just when the free kick was taken and the ball in motion to signal the end of the half but all these must have happened within a second, as the ball was finding its way into the back of the net just as the referee’s whistle was sounding.
Pundits have reviewed the conduct of the referee in disallowing the goal as correct and proper rather urging cubs to engage referees in their training as a means of educating the players about the rules of the game.
According to Alhaji Fresh, the NFF Executive Member and Chairman of the Referees Committee, he expects the referees to perform above average this season.
“Last season, I scored them about 75 percent, but I am expecting them to perform up to 90 percent this season. We are going to sustain the procedure and any NPFL referee who is found to have under performed will be demoted to the lower league.
“If a referee is found wanting, I am assuring Nigerians that he or she would definitely be retired. But we would have to look at their performance first before passing judgement.
“We have what we call, the Performance Review Committee whose job it is to review the performance of every referee on every match day. They will do their job and send their report to the larger committee headed by myself, before we take the final decision,” he said.