By TUNDE SHAMSUDEEN
The hammer of the NFF Referees Committee has fallen on Joseph Ogbabor, the centre referee who officiated the 3SC/Remo Stars game, along with three other referees.
The four sanctioned match officials comprising two centre referees and two assistant referees were found guilty of poor officiating and mismanagement of the game.
According to the Head of Refereeing/Secretary of the Referees Committee of the NFF, Hon Sani Zubairu (FIFA rtd), the centre referee in charge of the South West derby in Ibadan, Shooting Stars Sports Club versus Remo Stars, Joseph Ogabor, has been stopped from further handling of matches till the end of the first stanza of the league for the improper action of denying Remo Stars a good goal, an action that affected the result of the match.
Hon Zubairu disclosed that the NFF Referees Committee discovered, after carefully watching and reviewing the match, that the new FIFA referee erred in his decision thereby attracting a match ban sanction.
His assistant referees in the match, Bosede Momoh and Hulda Nkwocha were warned to brace up and also improve on their cooperation skills with the referee or risk sanctions.
Also one of the Assistant Referees in the Kano Pillars/Enyimba game, Tejiri Digbori, a FIFA referee was charged and found wanting for attempting to cancel a goal arising from poor offside judgement in the match played in Kano a fortnight ago.
Though his decision to stop the goal was overturned by the referee, Quadri Adebimpe, a FIFA referee, who received commendation from the committee for keeping to the tenets of the rules of the game, the defaulting Assistant Referee is banned till the end of the first stanza.
Another match official who is sanctioned is the Assistant Referee 2 in the Nassarawa/Ifeanyi Uba game, Abdul Razak IB of Borno Referees Council. Mr Abdul Razak has been rested for the next 8 weeks, beginning from this weekend’s matches for not only picking a wrong infringement on the field of play which misled the centre referee to awarding an undeserved penalty, but also rushed to the penalty area line before the referee actually signalled for a penalty; an act the Committee considered at variance to the Laws of the game.
The centre referee, Abubakar Zubairu was seriously warned to live up to expectations in subsequent matches and banned for 2 weeks for falling to the weakness of his assistant referee in identifying location of fouls and misconduct, and management of Penalty Kick, as well as caving into the decision of the AR without proper clarification of the incident.
The Head of NFF Referees Unit/Referees Committee Secretary, Hon Zubairu noted that the decisions were arrived at after the video clips of all the matches were watched and the match reports from Referees Assessors were read.
He urged the referees to be fair and firm in their assignments to avoid running foul of the Laws of the Game that would earn them disciplinary sanctions.