By George Aluo
Worried by the spate of poor officiating that has trailed the commencement of the NPFL 2017 season, the League Management Company (LMC) has requested the trimming down of the number of referees to be used this term.
Daily Sunsports gathered exclusively that the LMC had before the start of the season specifically requested the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) and the NFF referees committee to name only 30 referees for the 2017 season.
The LMC in asking to work with only 30 referees wanted only the best to handle the league games.
But rather than adhere to the LMC request, the Tade Azeez led NRA unleashed a total of 70 referees on the LMC for the on going season.
According to our source, the LMC has made a fresh request to the NFF and the NRA insisting on only 30 competent men in black that would not mess up matches as has been the case after only three round of matches.
“The LMC has approached us to prune down the referees list to only 30. They are not happy with the way some referees are messing up matches. As we speak, we just have to accede to their demand,” a credible NFF source revealed yesterday.
The NFF official was quick to add that the level of officiating is becoming embarrassing.
“No week passes without the LMC reporting a referee to us and ordering their suspension pending the outcome of investigation. We don’t want to be seen as not helping the LMC to succeed. So, we have to do something,” our source added.
The LMC had in week one reported Oyo State referee Folusho Ajayi to the NFF for messing up the Kano Pillars, FC IfeanyiUbah league opener, while in week three, Abdulahi Dankano who handled the Remo Stars, Abia Warriors tie was suspended.
Our source disclosed that the NRA leadership is hellbent on carrying more referees along in a bid to garner support during election.
“But the truth is that we can’t afford to play politics with the NPFL that is becoming a big brand,” a top soccer buff, Fan Ndubuoke said yesterday.