Kunle Adepoju, Lagos
Ahead of the 2019/ 2020 Football Season, the Nigeria Referees Association in accordance with the directive of the Nigeria Football Federation Referees’ Committee has thrown down the axe that fell on some erring referees in the immediate past season.
The National Publicity Secretary, of the NRA, Kelechi Mejuobi, disclosed in an official statement in Lagos, that, the action on the erring referees was a punishment for referees who failed to take part in the 2018/2019 training exercise.
He noted that, referees in this category will not be appointed for the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League until they excel in the 2019/2020 Nigeria National League, NNL, where their performances will be properly assessed to ascertain if they can fit into the requirements expected of them for the NPFL standard since they missed out from officiating of the last season matches.
The referees who fell into this category include; Omodevuae S – Delta, Tope Ogunboye- Ondo, Awosakin Iluyomade – Ondo, Nwoguimo C. – Rivers, Mohammed Jingi- Bauchi, Akut Reuben – Kaduna, Abduganiyu A – Plateau, Damian – Ondo, Jeremiah – Ondo, Rabiu Aliyu Mohammed – Jigawa, Musa Ibrahim – Katsina, Asebisi Musibau- Kwara, Mohd Usman Egede – Nasarawa, Dr Kana Abubakar-Nasarawa, Bala Mohammed –Niger, Lonkat Ephraim- Plateau, and Sani Ibrahim- Taraba.
Others are: Auwal D Nakura-Taraba, Badamasi Badamasi- Katsina, Zakariya Lawali – Zamfara, Ghalli Habibu Zamfara – Kano and Yusuf Garba – Kano.
Similarly, the NFF Referees Committee after due investigation of the cases of the referees suspended for various offences in matches of the elite league they were involved in last season, have been listed as those that will stepped down to now officiate in the lower division of the Nigeria National League for the 2019/2020 season.
During this probation period, the affected referees shall be under intensive monitoring to ascertain their knowledge of the Laws of the Game and good conduct in line with the NFF/NRA Code of Conduct for possible reinstatement to handle the NPFL.
Those in this category are; Blessed Levi – Rivers, Nwandu O – Imo, Ojo B- Kaduna, Nworie P- Enugu, Bada A – Lagos, Hussain A- FCT, Jimoh A- Bauchi, Surakat M- Kwara, Bethel N- Imo, Idris Nuhu – Kano, Nalado A- Bauchi, Isa J –Niger, Maimunu U- Kano, Olawale O- Osun, Benito O- Imo, Pam Jerry- Plateau and Onyiro Kennet – Abia.
The others are Auwalu Rabiu – Zamfara, Apine Emmanuel- Benue and Agbagbatu Chris- Delta.
While Ibrahim Isyaku from Kogi State has been summarily retired after repeated cases of involvement in game mismanagement.