CRY TO NRA: Another disgraceful officiating 

By: Oscar Durunna 

It’s no longer a secret that officiating has been the bane of Nigerian football, it appears to have been accepted as a norm that home teams must win in front of their home fans. 

While this in itself is a terrible misnomer in our football, the officials themselves aren’t helping matters. 
Referee Damian Akure and his team of officials A Mohd NG, Oluwaseun  NG and E. Iyorhei BN took this to a new level when he found himself in the center of arguably the biggest game of Matchday 29 the NPFL; FC Ifeanyi Ubah vs Enyimba International. 

That,  his very first game of the season was a game of this magnitude should have set the alarm bells ringing. 
Referee Damian set the ball of criminally terrible decisions rolling when he awarded a foul to Ifeanyi Ubah for a non existent tackle. Other decisions included incorrectly flagging Mfon Udoh offside while in a promising position down the right hand side. One very egregious decision involved booking Enyimba striker Abdullahi for simulation when he was clearly fouled in the box and could have gotten a penalty. 

The worst decision of them all involved allowing Godwin Obaje who was miles offside to score am unfair goal. 

An FC Ifeanyi Ubah licensed photographer was involved in a bust up with Fatai Dauda the Enyimba Goalkeeper and appeared to strike the stopper in the face. To Dauda’s credit, he didn’t retaliate. Yet the referee didn’t do anything about the players who surrounded the Enyimba goalie. 

For every substitution there ought to be 30 seconds added on, and Coach Gbenga Ogunbote made 3 subs in the 2nd half, not even counting the number of players involved in simulation and rolling around on the turf. Yaw Preko made same number of subs in the 2nd half as well, going by that, there should have been at least 3 minutes added on for the substitutions, at least 4 minutes for treatment of injured players, and 3 minutes for the altercation between the photographer and Fatai Dauda. 

This writer was aghast when only 2 minutes of added time was indicated, and to add insult to injury, the 2 minutes of added were not exhausted. A total of 59 seconds was played instead of the alloted 2 minutes. 

This writer has it on good authority that the referee was actually threatening the Enyimba players on the field, telling them “I go give una red card, una no wan find me something Abi?” he even said to a certain FCIU player “go forward, enter their eighteen if them touch you I go give you penalty”. It is a known fact that referee Damian Akure was lodged at the plush Beverley Hills hotel which is next door to the stadium, curious how he could afford that on a referee’s subvention. 

It is strongly recommended that referee Damian Akure be investigated and suspended for bringing the NRA into disrepute. Also tight security should be implemented outside the referees changing rooms and nobody should be allowed in our out before a game. FCIU officials were in a closed door meeting with the referee just before the game, perhaps that was the reason why the kickoff was delayed. 

In conclusion, this is a quintessential example as to why our League officials are rarely accepted on the continent, and why our teams don’t often do well against the backdrop of other African teams. 



In Its bid to develop soccer at the grassroot level, The Lagos state grassroot soccer association is staging an under-17 youth football competition in Lagos State. 

The tournament, tagged Adewunmi Ogunsanya Cup 2017,  the maiden edition of the Multichoice Nigeria Limited sponsored soccer competition, is billed to kick off on the 15 of July and run through 27th of August 2017. 

The chairman, Multichoice Nigeria Limited, Mr Adewunmi Ogunsanya S.A.N  who was represented by the head of operations, Ikorodu United Football club, Mrs Adeola Olatunji at a press conference in Lagos where the tournament was unveiled  said that the essence of the tournament is not only to discover, but to nurture the lads to stardom. 

He added that aside the medals and the prize money, the selected best players will be awarded scholarships that will see them through their tertiary education. 

The chairman however urged the players to give their best, while stressing that the tournament might be extended to other states in future.



Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has invited goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and 29 other players to camp for next month’s 2018 African Nations Championship qualifying fixture against the winner between Togo and Benin Republic. Togo and Benin Republic will conclude their qualifying fixture this month.

Nigeria Professional Football League leading scorer Stephen Odey, Akwa United’s nimble –footed midfielder Alhassan Ibrahim, Elisha Golbe of League leaders Plateau United and Chiamaka Madu of champions Enugu Rangers are also included.

Kano Pillars’ experienced midfielder Rabiu Ali, Mathias Samuel of El-Kanemi Warriors, Nasarawa United’s Thomas Zenke and Sunday Adetunji of Abia Warriors will also report in camp.

Nigeria, 2014 bronze medallists, will lock horns with the winner of a preliminary fixture between the West African neighbours, with the first leg taking place on the weekend of 11th – 13th August in either Cotonou or Lome, and the return leg in Nigeria on Saturday, 19th August.


Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC), Okiemute Odah (Lobi Stars), Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

Defenders: Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Orji Kalu (Rangers International); Stephen Eze (FC IfeanyiUbah); Ariwachukwu Emmanuel (Akwa United); Elisha Golbe (Plateau United); Chima Akas (Enyimba FC); Nasiru Sani (Katsina United), Osas Okoro (Rangers International), Chinedu Ajanah (ABS FC)

Midfielders: Hafiz Aremu (Akwa United); Emeka Atuloma (Rivers United); Raphael Ayagwa (Lobi Stars); Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars), Samuel Mathias (El-Kanemi Warriors), Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United), Chiamaka Madu (Rangers International) 

Forwards: Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC); Prince Aggreh (FC IfeanyiUbah); Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM FC), Thomas Zenke (Nasarawa United); Austin Oladapo (Gombe United), Stephen Odey (MFM FC); Kingsley Eduwo (Lobi Stars), Sunday Adetunji (Abia Warriors), Ifeanyi George (Rangers International)



Plateau United 3-0 Akwa United


Leaders Plateau United extended their lead to five points after a 3-0 win against Akwa United in the top of the table clash. Emmanuel James opened scores for the Jos based club in the 20th minute from the spot. The situation got worse for the visitors as Ubong Friday was sent off for dissent. Two second-half goals from Emeka Umeh and Kabiru Umar secured the maximum points for the hosts. Plateau United now have 51 points from 28 matches, five more points above second placed MFM FC.

Rangers Int’l FC 1-1 3SC


Shooting Stars kept their 4-match unbeaten run against Rangers in the NPFL intact with a 1-1 draw at Rangers. Godwin Aguda put Rangers ahead in the 29th minute as the hosts couldn’t add more goals, they were denied on several occasions by visiting goalkeeper Charles Tambe. The Cameroonian was impressive with his saves. Nigeria beach soccer star, Abu Azeez capped the day off for the visitors with a beautiful equalizer in the 77th minute.

ABS FC 2-4 Sunshine Stars

Sunshine Stars boosted their survival hopes with an emphatic 2-4 win at ABS FC. The game ended goalless at half time but the goals began to rain few seconds into the second half. Sikiru Alimi opened scores less than a minute into the second half. Former ABS FC forward Ajibola Otegbeye increased the lead eight minutes for the visitors.
Samuel Oyedeji pulled one back for the hosts from the spot in the 62nd minute. Abiodun Joseph restored the visitors’ two-goal lead in the 76th minute, nine minutes later Ebuka Anaekwe reduced the deficit for the Saraki Boys. As the hosts continued to chase for an equalizer, Thompson Ezekiel came on from the bench and secured the emphatic win for the visitors with the sixth goal of the game in the 87th minute.
The result moved Sunshine Stars away from the bottom four to 15th position with 36 points, two points above the relegation zone.

Katsina United 2-1 Lobi stars

Katsina United edged Lobi Stars 2-1 and distance themselves from the relegation zone. Chinedu Udechukwu scored in the opening five minutes as the hosts took the lead, Suleiman Ibrahim doubled the score in the 32nd minute. Tony Okpotu reduced the deficit late in the first half, but the goal could only stand as consolation for the visiting team. Okpotu’s strike was his 12th league goal of the season.

Enyimba Int’l FC 3-0 Niger Tornadoes

Enyimba moved into third position after their 3-0 victory against Niger Tornadoes in Calabar. Former Warri wolves midfielder Ibenegbu Ikechukwu broke the deadlock late in the first half with a beautiful free-kick. Chinoso Okonwo and Stanley Dimgba completed the victory with two second half goals.

Abia Warriors 2-0 Nasarawa United

Warriors cruised past Nasarawa United with a 2-0 win at the Umuahia Township Stadium. Emmanuel Makama scored an own goal in the first half to gift the home side the lead. Sunday Adetunji then wrapped up the win with his 12th league goal of the season late in the second-half.

Gombe United 2-0 El-Kanemi warriors

El-Kanemi Warriors suffered a 2-0 defeat in the hand of savanna scorpions. Two second half goals from Sani Abbani and Sani Sulaiman helped the hosts secure maximum points.

Wikki Tourists 2-0 Kano Pillars

Wikki Tourists made light work of Kano Pillars in the Northern Derby by running out 2-0 winners. Ahmad Usman put Wikki ahead in the 6th minute, while Chinedu Onyelonu scored the second goal 10 minutes into the second half.

Remo Stars vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah

The League management company LMC has rescheduled the game for Tuesday 11th, July after players and officials of Remo Stars suffered food poisoning​ on Saturday.



Health crisis befall Remo Stars FC as players suffer from food poisoning ahead of the Week 28 NPFL tie with Ifeanyi Ubah.

Remo Stars Football Club are in shock over health issues that affected the players and some officials after 23 players are currently been treated for food poisoning.

At that moment, 13 first-team Remo Stars players, including their leading scorer, Victor Mbaoma, Ekene Awazie and Salefu Ochowechi are violently sick with food poisoning.

The players began complaining of stomach pain and tiredness, from about 7pm after virtually the entire team were violently sick: Umar Martaba, Oknuoghae Osas, Edozie Ewelike, Onovo David, Ekene Awazie, Abiodun Awoyemi, Ekene Obi, Saidu Muhammed, Paul Isaac the reserve goalkeeper, David Walbe, and Shuji Oshobe, Akeem Taiwo. Mbaoma, the most ill, was hardly able to walk. Officials affected Goalkeeper Trainer Dahiru Ilu and Media Officer Oladimeji Oshode

Affected players were rushed down to Ikenne health center as team doctor Mr James is currently treating some players ensuring they get fluids in other not to suffer from dehydration while others are been monitored to ensure they recover from this health casualty.

Confirming the incident and current situation Club Secretary Michael Onikute said.

“It’s such a disastrous incident we have prepared well for the game against Ifeanyi Ubah and have had the player resting after dinner which they had Semovita and Egusi only for me to get a call that they are in pain and all I could think of what getting them to the hospital alongside the Team Doctor.

“In a bid to keep them safe and have a clean bill of health the camp was fumigated yesterday only for this casualty to befall us on the eve of a vital game against Ifeanyi Ubah.”



Popular sport OAP Edafe Matthew EseOghene  has called on club chairmen in Nigeria to be professional in the way they run their teams.

The ex- sharks FC player who was the guest on a weekly show tagged: Friday night chat show (FNCS) in the Talk about NPFL NNL NWPL Whatsapp group while answering questions sent by football fans and stakeholders said club chairmen need to be professional in the way they run their teams so that sponsors can run after them.

“As it is today, the LMC is a zillion light years ahead of the clubs, so the LMC is running well, as a club chairman, it is not your job to be running around to sort out matches, that’s the job of your GM. The chairman should be setting up the structures, governing council and business development side of the club and commercial structure” Edafe stated.

When he was asked about the welfare of players, he made it known that the welfare of players is paramount.

Edafe said; “Players welfare is the number one thing in football, treat them like slaves and they’ll perform like rats, treat them like stars and they’ll give you game of thrones and act as kings”.

He however called on all stakeholders to contribute their quota to the development of football in the country in order to take the sport in the country to an enviable height.



NPFL WEEK 27 Live Scores

Half time results

Nassarawa 1-0 Gombe utd
FC Ifeanyi Ubah 1-0 Katsina United
Shooting Stars FC 2-0 Wikki Tourists
Akwa utd 1-0 Enyimba Int’l
Lobi stars 2-0 Rangers Int’l
Elkanemi warriors 0-0 Plateau United
Niger Tornadoes 0-0 Remo Stars
Sunshine stars 0-0 Abia Warriors

CAF Confederation Cup

Half time
Rivers utd 0-0 Club Africain