The Referring Development Unit of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has forced discipline on fourteen (14) referees OF the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) by issuing them suspension on Monday due to poor officiating in the ongoing 2023/2024 NPFL season. The refereeing department released a statement on Monday indicting the officials and confirming their preliminary suspension. The Refereeing Development Unit stated the suspension was necessary due to poor performances of Referees/ Assistant Referees since Week 2 of the 2023/ 2024 NPFL season.
“We are obliged to step down the specifically affected match officials in the line of such instant cases when the appropriate technical evolution of such a decision is determined to be either right or wrong”.
The unit suspended one referee Bawa Buhari in the Round Two of the NPFL match between Niger Tornadoes and Rivers United while Referee Chukwuka Jahlove and Assistant Referee, Akinwale Tomiwa for a poor outing in a week four game between Niger Tornadoes and Bayelsa.
Also, Assistant Referee Zachariah Nde, Referee Saeed Abdulaziz, and Assistant Referee Jimmy Aimugbonrie for match day 5 games, Sporting Lagos vs Niger Tornadoes and Gombe United vs Plateau United respectively.
Subsequently, Referee Brown Ebenezer and Assistant Atuwbo Morrisson while all four officials in the game between Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors were suspended. However, just two officials from the Week 7 round of games; Referee Imamu Maliki and Assistant Referee Sunday Azi were suspended by the committee.
The committee further informed they would appreciate it if full videos of the games could be provided for proper evaluation of the performance of the referees.