Akwa United coach Kennedy Boboye has blamed ‘poor officiating’ for his side’s defeat to Heartland on Match Day 6 of the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season on Sunday at the Dan Anyiam stadium, Owerri.
NPFL record goalscorer Mfon Udoh put the Promise Keepers in front on 34 minutes, before Samuel Nnoshiri drew the Naze Millionaires level from the spot on 52minutes, after Charles Okafor fouled Bright Onyedikachi inside the box. Nduka Pascal Eze sealed the win in the 80th minute to hand Heartland all three points.
Apparently disappointed with the performance of center referee Kazzim Abdulsalam and his assistants, Boboye, who led Plateau United to the league crown in 2017, described the officiating as a ‘shame’, adding that both goals from Heartland shouldn’t have stood.
“It’s a shame,” Boboye said of the officiating. “I honestly don’t have anything to say because we can never grow with officiating like this. It’s a shame to Nigerian football that we are still on this level.
“Any team that wants to win should win in a very good platform, not by cheating.
“I am highly disappointed in the referees, highly. The two goals the team (Heartland) scored were not supposed to be goals. The first penalty was not a penalty, the second goal was an offside goal.
“The officiating is poor,” the former Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors coach told journalists after the match.
The defeat saw Boboye’s Akwa United drop to 14th on the NPFL log, with 6 points in as many games.