The image of a flourishing and much developed Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has once again been spat at and derided by crowd violence.
The latest occurrence being the ugly scenes at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri on Tuesday, after a league match between Heartland and Plateau United where match officials were brutally assaulted by persons believed to be supporters of the home team.
Referee Yusuf Garba and his fellow officials were attacked by irate fans inside the stadium after the final whistle.
— League Management NG (@LMCNPFL) April 23, 2018
According to Brila.net sources, the officials were attacked because the home team failed to secure all three points in the matchday 18 fixture no thanks to a late equalizer by the visitors.
Heartland had dominated the game leading 1-0 from the 21st minute, but, failed to tidy up at the back in the last minute of stoppage time and allowed the Plateau United a share of the spoils.
After the final whistle, although not included in the League Management Company’s official report, the officials were attacked.
Pictures of a bloody gash in the head, a bandaged head and a recuperating match official being treated by nurses were documented by match reporters to verify the incident, however the LMC yet to give an official statement.
In the past match officials have been assaulted or threatened at league match venues and recently the LMC investigated and also recommended sanctions for some Referees who alleged they were attacked, but failed to include the incident in their official match report.