Why NFF Appeals Committee Would Quash O&D Decision, Restore Enyimba's Two Points

Why NFF Appeals Committee Would Quash O&D Decision, Restore Enyimba's Two Points
Why NFF Appeals Committee Would Quash O&D Decision, Restore Enyimba's Two Points


With only six matches remaining in the 2023/2024 NPFL fixtures, the title race appears more close between Rangers, Enyimba and Remo Stars.

In order to ensure a fairness to all the contenders, and even the relegation strugglers, the league organisers, NPFL, put the games on hold for Rivers United to see off their backlog of outstanding matches.

The accumulated backlog of outstanding games was necessitated by Rivers United's involvement in CAF interclub duties, CAF Confederation Cup, where they reached the quarter finals, losing 1-2 on goals aggregate to USM Algiers.

The league organisers have said the games will resume in 11 days time, that is, May 26, with Rivers United expected to have cleared their outstanding matches.

But beyond that, one major thorny issue remains to be sorted out; that is the issue regarding the unresolved Enyimba versus Doma United match controversy.

Enyimba had scored in the 88th minute of the match through Mbaoma during a goalmouth melee following a throw-in. Doma appealed for offside but the referee after he was pushed and shoved, went to the StarTime TV Camera Monitor, and confirmed it was a genuine GOAL.

Doma United thereafter refused to continue the game, thus, forcing the referee to sound his final whistle.

Ironically, the center referee, Nurse Abdullahi, from Zamfara State, who had consulted his first Assistant, Akinsulire Kayode, from Ondo State before then, erroneously MISLED the O&D into taking what could best be termed 'wrong' decision to have Enyimba punished with two points decision.

First, Ref Nura claimed he wrote his first Match Report under duress without identifying any Enyimba official that put him under duress.

Secondly, when he (Ref Nura) was going to the StarTimes Camera TV Monitor, he was seen accompanied by both teams officials without anyone holding him. So it was mischievous of him to have come out before the O&D claim he was being harassed by Enyimba Thugs.

This aided the Disciplinary Committee to arrive at deducting points from Enyimba, when the same referee had emerged from the StarTimes Camera TV Monitor, proclaiming the genuiness of the goal.

What the O&D should have done was to call for the StarTimes Video Clip of the match, particularly the area of the incident and watch it by themselves before taking their decision. 

Now, the NFF Appeals Committee will have to correct this anomaly before the May 26 resumption of the league. This is extremely important in order to ensure fairness and equity. All teams must be seen to have been give level playing field to compete. It won't be nice to 'rob' Peter in order to pay Paul. The earlier this issue is sorted out, the better.

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