|Referees before a league game|
More facts have emerged on how to Nigerian referees died in Abuja while participating in the Cooper Test on Wednesday morning.
The referees, Mathew Bamidele Falaye from Ogun State and Kunle Oyesola from Oyo state slumped and died on their way to hospital while taking part in the Cooper Test.
A source at the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA told Naijafootball247 that both referees had failed the Cooper Test last month and according to standard procedure were not due to take part in the test until next year.
“We were shocked to see them at the stadium yesterday with a note from the president of the NRA, Ahmed Maude to participate in the exercise.
“It is just unfortunate what happened,” our source said.
Naijafootball247 tried to reach the NRA president, Ahmed Maude but he said he was in a meeting and could not talk at the time.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the Association, who simply called herself Adebisi said it was due to a presidential pardon that the two referees were allowed to do the Cooper Test eleven months early.
“I can call it a presidential pardon if you want because the truth is that after failing the Cooper Test you are not allowed to redo it until after one year but it was a bit different this year.
“You see when people start mounting pressure, you may have no choice but to readmit them. The president was in Abuja yesterday and he was aware they did the test even though they were not supposed to,” Adebisi said.
She however added that the pardon spread across and was not just for the two dead referees.
“It went across board. I think the association just wanted to give referees a chance to redeem themselves and it was not just about the two referees that slumped and died so it is unfortunate what happened.
“Right now we are making arrangements to fly their corpse home from burial and them we will call a meeting to sort out the whole issue. It is a mess