Nigeria Referees Association To Engage Lawyers To Battle Hooliganism

Tade Azeez was reelected as National President of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) for another four year term at the quadrennial delegates’ conference of the body held in Ogun State at the end of which the NRA resolved to assemble a team of lawyers to “take serious legal action” against individuals apprehended in connection with attacks on its members in the discharge of their duties.

The referee body also revealed their intention to “without any warning signal”, withhold its members from officiating at match venues where fans attack referees.

Nigerian football referees have long been on the receiving end of shocking fan led violence at match venues across the country and the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League have seen referees severely assaulted on three occasions, two of them involving Plateau United and the other incident involving Remo Stars.

It is against this backdrop of incessant attacks on its members that the NRA has finalized plans to hold a meeting with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and representatives of all Nigerian football leagues to find a lasting solution to the problem of football hooliganism.

The referee body urged the NFF to strongly consider deducting points from offending teams as provided for in their regulations whilst also vowing to sanction its members found wanting in the course of discharging their duties.

Elected alongside Azeez into the executive council of the NRA were Sani Zubairu (Deputy President), Faith Irabor (Vice President 1) and Ijeoma Nwosu (Vice President 2).

Other elected officials include Suleiman Omezia (Secretary General), Achukasim Chidi (Deputy Secretary General), Olu Anisere (Assistant Secretary General), Isa Mohammed (Treasurer), S.A Fowomola (National Financial Secretary), Mohammed Odihili (Deputy National Financial Secretary), Jumoke Adebisi-Odeniran (National Training Officer), Anirou Shantali (Deputy National Training Officer), Kelechi Mejuobi (National Publicity Secretary) and Kabiru Magaji (National Welfare Officer).