The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Ibrahim Gusau, has issued a stern warning to Nigerian referees and match commissioner against practices capable of bringing the game into disrepute.
He made this known yesterday during the inauguration of the Referees and Match Commissioners’ Committees inside the NFF Secretariat, Abuja.
Gusau said it will no longer be business as usual for match commissioners and referees in the domestic game as those who fail to meet the high standards already put in place will be summarily ejected and sanctioned appropriately.
“We have been diligent and statute-compliant in the selection of the membership of both the Referees Committee and the Match Commissioners’ Committees, and therefore, we expect them to do their job with the highest level of integrity, passion, commitment and sense of duty.
“The onus is on the committees as we will keenly monitor the performances of your appointees and be dispassionate in our assessment. Anyone found wanting will be thrown out without ceremony, and be visited with further sanctions.
“The NFF is determined to change the narrative in the league and there is no going back. Please help us to have a new league that all stakeholders will be proud of,” Gusau said.
On her part, Faith Irabor, who chairs the Referees Committee, said the narrative will definitely change from the umpires’ side as Nigeria football moves to implement the highest standards of probity in match officiating.
Meanwhile, the NFF president on behalf of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) presented a N200m cheque to the 20 NPFL clubs as take-off grants for the upcoming 2022/23 abridged season which kicks off on Sunday.
The N200m dummy cheque was received by Nasarawa United Chairman, Barrister Isaac Danladi, who doubles as Chairman of Club Owners Association.
Gusau also used the occasion to reiterate the need for the abridged league format.
“The abridged league which will start on Sunday was borne out of necessity. We want to return our league to conform with the major leagues in the world. The league must end by May and by August, the new league must start,” he said.