The Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, has strongly condemned the renewed incessant attacks on its members at various venues of the country’s leagues.
The president of the Association, Otunba Tade Azeez, worried by the sad development is calling on football authorities to save the lives of referees at match venues adding that no match is worth the life of a referee.
The Association notes that in the past few weeks, it has observed how teams and supporters have resorted to physical assaults on referees when results of matches are not in their favour at the home grounds.
While recalling spates of untold incidents recorded so far this season, the attacks in the past few weeks have reached frightening dimension where a referee may be killed if no strict measure is applied.
In view of these sad commentaries rocking Nigeria football, the leadership of the Association has considered a boycott of matches involving teams with insecure venues while urging the organisers to step up measures guiding these anomalies.
While the dust raised by last Sunday’s brutal attack on the referees that handled the NPFL game in Katsina as well as that in Akure, is yet to rest, the referees that handled Saturday’s Nigeria National League, NNL; Taraba United vs Elkanemi in Jalingo, escaped death by whiskers due to the brazen display of hooliganism by supporters of the home team who attempted to kill the officials after the matches by inflicting body injuries on them.
Gory pictures of referee after the attacks speak volumes of a barbaric treatment match officials are meted at the domestic scene.
While calling on the concerned authorities to take holistic approach to curb the menace, a consideration for boycott of unsafe grounds may be the option of the NRA for now.
National Publicity Secretary
Nigeria Referees Association