BY GODWIN AIKIGBE
Violence took the shine off the Nigeria Professional Football League matchday 8 on Sunday, with coaches and fans throwing cautions to the winds at two centres.
Kwara United coach, Maji Mohammed physically assaulted Katsina United team manager, Abdkareem Ola Abdazeez, doing a kung-fu on him before unleashing a thunderous slap at Ilorin Township Stadium.
According to an eye witness account, Abdazeez had left his sit immediately after the match that ended 2-1 in favour of the home team to confront the referee for denying his team a penalty.
Kwara United defender had handed the ball in the box, but the referee pointed signaled for a corner-kick, a decision that was contested by Katsina United captain.
Both men started a fight when Katsina United coach, Abdulahi Biffo entered the field to send his players out , to avoid a fight after the final whistle.
At the Akure Township Stadium, fans of Sunshine Stars allegedly opened a deep cut in the face of a referee after playing a goalless draw against Kano Pillars.
Meanwhile, the referee’s brilliant performance drew accolades from Ondo State Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports , Saka Yusuf Ogunleye, who after the match described Nigerian referees as individuals ready to develop the standard of the elite league In country
He said: “I’m satisfied with the performance of the match officials, they showed professionalism and that’s what Is expected of other referees in the elite league”
Ogunleye however charged sunshine stars players to put the outcome of the match behind them and be ready to pick points away from home in subsequent matches.
“Kano pillars match is gone, our next target should be how to pick points away from home, our boys shouldn’t be deterred, its a game of football where you win some, draw some and lose some”
On the rumoured attack on match officials, the commissioner urged security operatives to fish out perpetrators if really there was an assault.
” I’m not sure there was an incident of such, but I’ve directed security operatives to investigate and I can assure you if the security agents discover such happened , those miscreants will be charged to court ”
Saka said government will not encourage any act of hooliganism in sport and as a peace loving state government will make the state peaceful for officials during league matches .
He stressed that government will deal with any hoodlum (s) who engage in any act that can put the state in bad light
He added that series of sensitization programmes were organized in the state months ago to educate fans on good conduct during home matches of Ondo State teams.