Six match officials in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) whose performances have been adjudged as not meeting the high standard of the league have been suspended from further handling of matches for the rest of the 2016/17 season.
Following a review of performances of match officials in the last three matchdays, the League Management Company (LMC) has requested the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to withdraw the said match officials from the NPFL games.
The officials include four referees and two assistant referees who officiated in different games on Matchdays 29, 30 and 31.
They include Umar Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who officiated in the Matchday 29 fixture between Niger Tornadoes and Plateau United, Aliyu Abdullahi of Kaduna State who was the match referee on Matchday 30 between Katsina United and Kano Pillars, Saleh Mohammed of Jigawa for his poor performance on Matchday 30 between Plateau United and FC Ifeanyiubah and Samuel Agba of Cross River State who officiated on Matchday 32 between FC Ifeanyiubah and Gombe United.
The assistant referees are Emmanuel Udoh of Akwa Ibom State and Felagha Awudola of Bayelsa State who were the assistant referees to Agba in the FC Ifeanyiubah and Gombe United fixture.
The LMC in a letter signed by its Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar and addressed to the NFF General Secretary, said: “The said Referees failed to meet up with the high standard expected in the Nigeria Professional Football League and made decisions which were obviously wrong and which had a direct impact on the outcome of the respective matches.”
The LMC suggested that while a full investigation is instituted, “we therefore request that they be withdrawn from further consideration for future NPFL matches.”
For other match officials who are still eligible to manage games, the league body warned, “this line of action will be a wake-up call to all match officials whose efficient adjudication of the game will help strengthen the credibility and value of the elite league.”