Referees in Nigeria are calling for more protection following a recent spate of violence against referees in the country’s top league.
There have been two major attacks on referees officiating in the Nigeria Professional Football League and the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) says the Association deems it necessary to speak out as it fears for the welfare of its members.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary Kelechi Mejuobi, the NRA pointing to attacks on its members at NPFL venues in Jos and Sagamu recently, said it is on the verge of asking its members to keep away from the league ‘to avoid being killed by desperate club officers and their rampaging supporters.’
In a Week One match involving Plateau United and FC Ifeanyi Ubah match referees were set upon by irate fans of the home side in Jos after the game ended in a goalless stalemate.
Referees in the Week 3 match between Remo Stars and Bendel Insurance were also attacked after the game ended 1-1.
The statement informed that a General Assembly of the association shall meet to take a decision on asking it’s members keep away from the league and stressing that an earlier resolution that NRA members won’t honour matches on grounds where referees are beaten remains sacrosanct.
The NRA however called on the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, LMC and Club Owners, to as a matter of urgent concern intervene immediately to save the situation.
Full N.R.A Statement