NRA attacks LMC over sanctions on Kano Pillars, others
There appears a ‘war within’ the top hierarchy of those running the country’s football league as the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) is on a warpath with the League Management Company (LMC) following the body’s decisions on last Sunday’s league fixture between Kano Pillars and Akwa United.
The LMC, headed by NFF Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko, had on Tuesday sanctioned some clubs, including Kano Pillars, Remo Stars, Katsina United and Enyimba as punishment for their fans’ behaviour in recent matches. In all, the LMC imposed a fine totalling N12.25 million on the clubs for the crisis that engulfed the league last weekend.
But the referees’ body, led by Tade Azeez came down hard on the LMC yesterday, saying such decisions did not go down well with the umpires. The NRA feels unprotected by the indifference of the LMC to the plight of referees whenever they are attacked at match venues.
According to Sports Village Square, the NRA has dispatched to the LMC its complaint about the conspicuous absence of any form of cost for medical treatment the referees underwent after suffering several degrees of injuries after the match.
The statement endorsed by the NRA boss said: “After a careful study of the decisions LMC made public, the NRA has no option than to protest the indifferent attitude of the league organisers to the plight of referees involved in the match and persistent non consideration of the post-attack treatment of referees after sustaining injuries arising from physical assaults before, during and after matches.
“The careful exclusion of the medical treatment of the highly injured referees and non consideration of the amount they must have spent and other cost for treatment of injuries after the incident is not only unfortunate but unacceptable to us.
“Suffice it to note that the referees were the worst hit and unfortunate victims of the riotous acts of supporters in Kano. Ironically, LMC did not consider the referees in the decisions for necessary compensation”
While asking the LMC to recall that “in the past, referees attacked and assaulted by fans in match venues failed to receive monies spent for medical treatment; an ugly trend that has not gone down well with the NRA especially the listed Premier League referees.”
It added: “Except referees in NPFL are the ‘sacrificial lamb,’ of the elite domestic league, the LMC would have considered the fate of match officials attacked by club players and supporters at league centres.”
The NRA asdded: “Referees have suffered permanent and temporary injuries due to fans’ attack. The scars are sad reminders of zero action from LMC.
“Furthermore, medical treatment claims and cost of items lost by referees in the past have not been redeemed till date while the LMC continues to crave for a better league without considering the plight of referees after suffering violence in match venues.
“In view of the above, the NRA requests the LMC to reconsider the sanctions handed to clubs who attacked referees in the incidents decided so far as no match is worth the life of any referee in Nigeria.”