Members of Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, involved in matches under the auspices of the Nigeria Football Federtion, NFF have been assured of protection on the field of play.
Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji Inuwa Rabiu Ahlan, made this known while declaring open the First Quarter Fitness Test of FIFA referees and premier league referees in Nigeria at the National Stadium, Abuja on Wednesday.
Speaking at the event, Alhan, a member of NFF Executive Committee who represented the President of the Federation noted that the football house won’t tolerate attempts to inhibit match officials from doing what is right all the time.
The FA chairman of Kano State frowned at the latest approach teams have employed in harrassing and intimidating referees during matches. Alhan disclosed that discoveries based on reports have it that erring teams now chose to attack, harrass, and intimidate referees inside the dressing room and along the tunnels.
“We have discovered it is their new pattern to harrass referees at half time and end of the matches by stopping them from accessing the dressing room. But we are on top of the matter. Every referee shall be protected anywhere despite the outcome of matches ” he added
While asking all the FIFA referees to be steadfast in their undertaking, Ahlan opined that FIFA badges are not exclusive reserves of any particular referee but that of the Federation adding that the Referees Committee of the NFF adopts best practices in choosing international referees for the country as well as appointment of match officials.
Speaking also, President of the NRA, Otunba Tade Azeez requested referees to avoid the tunnels and dressing rooms if they discover threats and harrassment abound at the end of the first half or full time.
Said he; “don’t go into the referees dressing room or move to the tunnel if there is element of harrassment by supporters. Remain at the field and don’t go in whether end of first half or second half except security improves”
The NRA President who expressed happiness for the performances so far told the referees that the Association won’t tolerate acts not in conformity with the laws of the game.
Referees from the North West, North Central and North East took part in the event witnessed by LMC Chief Operating Officer, COO, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar.
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