Nigerian match officials
By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The no holds barred battle between Kano referees, the State FA and club owners, saw a new twist, when the men in black refused to turn out to officiat NFF Federation Cup fixtures scheduled for Tuesday.
Admiral FC were billed to clash against Wudil United at Kano Pillars Stadium, while New System were to lock horns against Zoo United at Sani Abacha Stadium, in the 2012 NFF Federation Cup, both games did not take place, as the referees assigned to officiate both matches failed to honour the games.
Earlier same day, the State FA secretary, Alhaji Usman Yahya was at the Glass House in Abuja to submit a request to NFF, in which Kano Nationwide League teams are urging NFF to clamp down on the alleged unethical activities being carried out by Kano referees, against Kano teams who are taking part in the Nationwide League competition.
The Kano FA scribe armed with the minutes of the meeting held between the State Football Association and the Nationwide League clubs stormed NFF secretariat to press home the demands made by the clubs.
Their refusal to officiate the Federation Cup matches is a silent protest against the State FA and to deepen the crisis, a source at the State FA secretariat stated.
Kano teams campaigning in the Nationwide League, formerly known as Amateur League, are threatening to back out from participating in the NFF competition, over allegations of being sabotaged by the Kano State Referees Council.
According to them, the council is meting out unjustifiable punishment on them for failing to support the council during its power tussle with the State FA last year.
However, the Chairman Kano State Referees Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Fagge debunked the allegations, he narrowed down the problem to that of two nationwide clubs, who did not prepare to compete, resulting into a situation where they struggle to win their home matches.
Ibrahim said: “You see, sir, Jarma was not willing to play in the Nationwide League this year, they wanted to sell the club, but they did not find a buyer, Dabo Babes have sold all their good players.”
The State FA and the State Referees Council reached a resolution last year, that from this season the laws of the game must be fully complied with, “this is just what the referees are doing”, Alhaji Fagge disclosed.