Culled From Tribune Newspaper
To many football followers in Nigeria, the constitution of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) board should be good enough to move the game forward, going by the pedigree of the personalities in the board.
Without mincing words, a board that has the likes of Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye, a one-time lawmaker and boss of the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC) as well as Davidson Owumi, an ex player and seasoned football manager, should be transparent and fair enough in its dealings and activities.
However, watching the week 19 encounter between Shooting Stars and Enyimba at the Lekan Salami stadium leaves one in doubt if the NPFL monitors the performance of officials appointed to handle matches.
The performance of Joseph Ogabor, the referee who handled that encounter, undoubtedly showed that the board, the Referees appointment committee and other stakeholders are not being vigilant indeed. Regarded in some platforms as Nigeria’s number one at the moment, what we saw in Ibadan leaves a lot to be desired from Ogabor.
The match itself was a classic and very interesting game and from my point of view and I’m sure that will be the opinion of other football supporters.
However, one was pained and frustrated the way referee Ogabor handled that match. He clearly demonstrated his preference with obvious questionable officiating to throw spanner into the works of beautiful football People dug into history and alleged that he had been controversial along the line.
It is rather unfortunate that days after game in Ibadan, the NPFL has not made any public statement but was quick to sanction the referee that handled the Shooting Stats home match against Bayelsa, United based on public outcry. What has changed?, A top NRA official said that he has not seen any evidence against Ogebor but the same official was alive when the referee of 35C vs Bayelsa was dropped.
Up till now, if the league managers are yet to say anything on the performance of referee Ogabor, which has gone viral, one is compelled to say again that the NPFL board is not attentive to the League Referee Ogabor’s outing on Sunday, must be reviewed and decision made public.
The prompt intervention of the Chairman of the Shooting Stars, Honourable Babatunde Olaniyan saved what could have been a bloody day in lbadan by ensuring the safety of the match officials who were ferried out of the Stadium in an ambulance. This effort was assisted by Oyo FA, if not by now we would be singing another song and NPFL
would have quickly announced the ban of Lekan Salami Stadium.
Many still have confidence in the NFPL board under the leadership of Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye to act fast.