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Controversy trails rescheduled 2023/2024 Match Day 28 as Katsina United FC alleges bias officiating against Rivers United

Posted : 27 April 2024

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There has been intense debate about poor officiating and bias during the rearranged 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Match Day 28 fixture between Rivers United and Katsina United at Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.

Alleged series of contentious incidents occurred, leaving both teams and spectators stunned.

The match officials, amidst allegations of collusion, controversially disallowed two clear goals for Katsina United, citing offside infractions.

The visitors, Katsina United, allegedly found themselves at the mercy of the officials, who were accused of obstructing their ability to compete fairly in the game.

The management of the Changi Boys equally alleged that the consistent underperformance of Nigerian teams in continental tournaments could be largely attributed to the prevalence of poor officiating by our own referees.

This recurring issue not only undermines the efforts of the teams but also damages the league's reputation on the international stage.

"Sanctions must be imposed on the implicated officials to deter future occurrences of such unfair practices. Additionally, if Rivers United truly uphold the principles of honesty and fair play, they should advocate for a replay of the match at a neutral venue and time to ensure justice and uphold the integrity of the sport.

In the meantime, Katsina United FC's management has filed a complaint with the LMC regarding poor officiating that allegedly prevented them from scoring two clean goals at Rivers United FC's home field, Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.

The management, through Club Media Officer Nasir Gide, termed the incident as sad, demonstrating unprofessionalism and selfish interest on the part of Nigerian referees.

To improve the league's reputation, the management is appealing to the league body for justice.

The management also called for a thorough inquiry into what transpired in Rivers and took all necessary steps against the assistant referee who purposefully denied us our mandate.

Similarly, the Katsina United management voiced dismay against the attitude of the match officials.

In an interview on the sidelines, the coach of the Changi Boys said; "In the game of football it's either you win, lose, or draw.

"Unfortunately, in today's game, I am not happy with the way things went because we scored two quick goals and no one is allowed, so I am not blaming the referee but I am looking at it and asking why should I lose this match, I am not supposed to lose this match.

"The referees are the ones in charge of officiating, so it is their discretion, but those who are watching will know that the two quick goals were disallowed.

"We have put the loss behind us and look ahead.

"Katsina people should continue praying, we are not sure if the matches ahead of the Katsina people should continue praying for our success."


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