*OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON WEEK ONE NPFL MATCHES: NRA SATISFIED WITH REFEREES’ PERFORMANCE
1. The Nigeria Referees Association, NRA has expressed satisfaction with the performances of match officials who handled the opening games of the NPFL.
2. The Referees deserve a pass mark judging from a careful review of their actions, decisions and conduct in the course of the game with particular reference to the match in Kano; Kano Pillars vs Ifeanyi Uba. This position is based on Match Reports, Assessors Reports and other evidences.
3. The NRA considers it necessary to state that the action of the referee ( Kano Pillars vs Ifeanyi Uba) with regards to Duration/ Time of each half is within the ambit of the Laws of the Game as LAW 7 – THE DURATION OF THE GAME states that “The match lasts two equal periods of 45 minutes, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the referee and the two teams, adding that “The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee” Therefore, It is pertinent to note that the Laws of Game does not allow for extension of time for play after normal time of play allowed therein has expired, except for Penalty Kick, in which the duration of either half is extended until the penalty kick is completed and outcome known.
4. The Kano incident has opened another chapter in the domestic game which somehow suggests that some clubs or players may not be properly in tune or acquainted with trending modern day football laws and rules especially now the Laws of the Game have undergone a major amendment since June 2016 with its implementation in 2017 football session in Nigeria.
5. Apart from asking relevant authorities in Nigeria to seek a means of enlightening Clubs, officials and players on the Laws of Game, the NRA has well grounded and knowledgeable FIFA and CAF trained Referees Instructors who can be despatched to tutor clubs on laws guiding the round leather game. The NRA urges clubs and players to avail themselves this opportunity for better understanding in future engagements.
6. The NRA assures the Federation, LMC and other stakeholders of not only continued partnership and support but also Free, Fair and Firm officiating in the 2017 season.
Yours in the Whistle