By Juwon Olayiwola :
The Nigerian premier league kicked off on Saturday with a couple of very interesting match ups. But one particularly caught my attention, and it’s not even the interesting contest between Katsina United and Kano Pillars, but it was the match played in Lafia between Nassarawa United and Plateau United, and it was not for good reasons.
Problem started when a late goal by new signing Raphael Ayagwa, who only came on for Benjamin Turba, to seal the game in excellent fashion in Lafia on a winning note. A goal which ensured the defending champions started the season on a winning note.
Reports from the match venue state that this didn’t go down with the home fans, which resulted in Lady referee Mimisen Iyorhe being virtually stripped naked after the home side lost their opening game of the league season.
This kind of incident casts a dark cloud over the Nigerian premier league, giving room to criminals who disguise as fans, always ready to harass, destroy properties and sometimes bring an abrupt end to a match once officiating doesn’t go their way.
The league management on the other hand have not been up and doing, as at the time this article is being published, there has been no official statement condemning the act of these hoodlums disguised as fans. This is even more disheartening considering it happened to a female official, this is downright disgraceful.
I have been opportune to watch a Nigerian premier league game live at the Lekan Salami stadium, I have seen the zeal and passion of the Fans in the stadium, but this passion should never in whatsoever circumstance be translated into violence.
The league management have to bring down the hammer on Nasarawa United and it’s “Fans”, and ensure this type of occurrence doesn’t repeat it self again at all our grounds during the course of the season.