Guilty as Charged! NFF’s Silence on Kalu’s Assault on Referee Ghorbal is Complicity

Guilty as Charged! NFF’s Silence on Kalu’s Assault on Referee Ghorbal is Complicity

There’s no bigger problem in Nigeria football like hooliganism and the thought of that is pathetic.

Match officials, fans and even players have been victims and the culprits have been just about anybody inside the arenas.

While the League Management Company (LMC); custodians of Nigeria’s top flight professional football, is grappling with the blow to the league’s image on one hand.

The Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) are at war with virtually everybody including the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over the safety of match officials at game venues.

Television rights between the LMC and its partner took a hit as a result of the menace – among other reasons.

Recently, three “hooligans” were remanded in Police custody, awaiting trial following their involvement in the attack on match officials during and after a league match between Wikki Tourist and Enugu Rangers in Bauchi.

With the foregoing, it behoves on football authorities in Nigeria to denounce any such act of violence or aggression deemed capable of bringing the game to disrepute, having first hand experience of it’s damaging effects.

However, more than 72 hours after Enugu Rangers midfielder, Orji Kalu Okogbue, confronted Algerian referee, Mustapha Ghorbal following Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat to Benin Republic, no official statement condemning the player’s shameful act has been issued by either the LMC or NFF.

To allow something that despicable happen, and in the national colors is a disservice.

But not to publicly reprimand the player is tantamount to condoning his action.

After the match even the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick could not hide his disdain for the Algerian match officials.

Pinnick, who is a CAF Executive Committee member and one of CAF President, Ahmad’s inner circles, said about Ghorbal after the match, “The officiating was very very poor and I have informed the authorities.”

Perhaps one may begin to think, the FA official saw nothing wrong with Kalu’s action, although the player was handed a second yellow for dissent off the pitch.

“Orji Kalu Okogbue got a 2nd caution after FT for confronting the referee. He will be unavailable for Saturday’s 2nd leg in Kano,” per NG Super Eagles.


Kalu’s action if it goes untreated by the home authorities will mock the efforts of both the NFF and LMC to rid such obscenity from Nigerian football.

It gives off a negative vibe.

Pinnick is a fan ardent fan of European football. One way or another his affiliation with Arsenal FC as well as his position in global football, Today, means he in the least pays attention to matters in other spheres.

Kalu is no bigger than Cristiano Ronaldo.

For shoving a match official after he was sent off at the weekend against FC Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana, the Real Madrid talisman was retrospectively handed a five-match ban.

The rules are clear, the FA’s are custodians of these rules, if they can’t enforce them should other errant players not have a field day and arbiters becoming sitting ducks?

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