Jigawa fined N1m, player banned, refs expelled

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In the wake of the incident during a Nigeria National League match-day 17 game between Jigawa Golden Stars and Sporting Supreme FC in Dutse on Saturday, the league body has placed a one-year ban on an unidentified player of Jigawa Golden Stars for apparently pushing the ball into the net with both hands to deny their visitors a point, The According reports.

Chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, stated this in an interview with The According on Sunday.

The two referees who were involved in the game, Zaharadeen Nasiru (Katsina State) and his assistant, Usman Auwalu (Borno State), were expelled by the Refereeing Development Unit of the Nigeria Football Federation on Sunday.

A viral video of the embarrassing moment showed a cross into Sporting Supreme’s box being handballed twice, with an initial attempt by the player to score with both hands foiled, before it was eventually turned home courtesy the hands of another player. The home side wheeled away in celebration of their concocted goal as the referee, who was close by, pointed to the centre circle.

“The Jigawa player shirted No. 9, who seemed to be playing volleyball, had a one-year ban placed on him for bringing the game to disrepute, while Jigawa has been slammed with a N1m fine for not providing adequate security,” Aluo told The According.

The Referees’ Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation was quick to react to the incident on Sunday with the expulsion of the two erring officials.

“In view of the serious nature of the decisions taken in your week 17 match involving Jigawa Golden Stars FC and Sporting Supreme FC played in Dutse, wherein your actions brought refereeing and the game in Nigeria into disrepute, I am directed to notify you that you have been expelled with immediate effect from the league and refereeing generally,” a statement signed by Mohammed Ameenu, on behalf of the NFF Referees’ Committee chairman and addressed to Nasiru and Auwalu, read.

The NNL also took decisions on the game involving Ijebu United and Osun United, which ended 1-0 in favour of the home team in jebu-Ode, among other erring officials who made controversial decisions recently.

A viral video outside the main bowl of the Dipo Dina Stadium showed players in a brawl with suspected hoodlums, leaving some of the players hospitalised.

“We have also requested that the referees’ authority delist Henry Akwara from Imo State, the man that handled Warri Wolves vs Ikorodu United last weekend, alongside the one that handled Sokoto United vs Kebbi, Calabar Rovers vs Ekiti United and Ijebu United vs Osun United.

“These are bad eggs, and we don’t want to see them handle NNL games for the rest of the season. We don’t want anyone to mess up our efforts to sanitise the league,” Aluo
added.

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