May 19, 2024

Referee Inuwa Faisal: Need for Fairness, Honesty In Referees Selection Process For NPFL Matches

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By Sportsgister


Football enthusiasts, all over the world will agree that issues concerning refereeing and their handling of football matches has obviously become a global phenomenon.


Its not limited to a certain country or continent and its gradually becoming a recurring decimal with the dynamism that is daily greeting the round leather game.


Football has now evolved so much that there’s now speed balls which technically made that encourages its speed and twists. This makes everything happens within seconds that leave the match arbiters (referees) with little or no time to make accurate decisions.


However, there are peculiarities, especially in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), where referees ‘behave’ or ‘misbehave’ based on the orders, dictates and directives of their ‘mentors’ and ‘godfathers’.


Coach Uni Dan Kakwi some weeks ago listed what he termed ’14 ways to stop poor officiating in Nigeria football’ following the spate of poor officiating which had downgraded Nigerian football to the lowest level of global recognition.


According to him, ‘stopping poor officiating in Nigerian football requires fundamental solutions that can help enhance the quality of refereeing and ensure fairness in the game’.


Among his recommendations were referee training and development, technology integration, transparency and accountability, anti-corruption measures, referee selection process, fan education, independent oversight, enhanced security, collaboration with International Bodies, public awareness campaigns, mentorship programs, fair wages and incentives, as well as strong leadership.


Yes, they are good points, some of which have been adopted, and already in use.


But it all depends on opportunities, some of which comes with suspicion, especially in the appointment of referees for matches.


Findings shows that a certain Referee Inuwa Faisal from Bauchi State has handled his second match in the eight Matchdays of 2023-2024 NPFL, and will still be in action this weekend in the match between Bendel Insurance and Kwara United FC at the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.


Finding shows that Referee Faisal has a record of handling several matches of ‘high interests’, especially the one involving Kwara United.


He was the match arbiter in the Kwara United’s home game against the same Bendel Insurance in Ibadan, which Kwara United controversially, lost by a lone goal.


For him and some others in the system, appointments come frequently, at the expense of others, and at the detriment of the system.


While other referees have enjoyed only match this season and waiting till God knows when for the next one, our man from Bauchi has enjoyed ‘special privileges’. It calls for concern who is his ‘mentor’ or ‘godfather’ within the system for him to enjoy such privileges.


As Coach Dan earlier posited, the Referee appointment committee, the NRA and as well the board of the NPFL need to take that aspect of referees selection process very serious so as to be seen as fair to all.

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