Referee Funsho Ajayi in Federation Cup game between Enyimba and Rivers United in 2016
The
leadership of the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA have expressed
satisfaction over the performance of match officials in opening day
games of the
league, especially in Kano.

The
game in Kano was a case study as the away side, FC Ifeanyi Ubah refused to continue following incidents in the game culminating in center referee, Folusho
Ajayi’s decision to stop play to end the first half just as a free kick was
about to be taken.

According
to a communique signed by the President of the NRA, Tade Azeez, “The
Referees deserve a pass mark judging from a careful review of their
actions, decisions and conduct in the course of the game with
particular reference to the match in Kano; Kano Pillars vs Ifeanyi
Uba. This position is based on Match Reports, Assessors Reports and
other evidences.”

The
communique continued that “The NRA considers it necessary to state
that the action of the referee ( Kano Pillars vs Ifeanyi Uba) with
regards to Duration/ Time of each half is within the ambit of the
Laws of the Game as LAW 7 – THE DURATION OF THE GAME states that
“The match lasts two equal periods of 45 minutes, unless
otherwise mutually agreed between the referee and the two teams,”
adding that “The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of
the referee.”

Azeez
said it is pertinent to note that the Laws of Game does not allow for
extension of time for play after normal time of play allowed therein
has expired, except for Penalty Kick, in which the duration of either
half is extended until the penalty kick is completed and outcome
known.

He
went short of accusing club officials and maybe sections of the media
of ignorance as regards the laws of the game that has undergone a few
changes in recent times.

The
Kano incident has opened another chapter in the domestic game which
somehow suggests that some clubs or players may not be properly in
tune or acquainted with trending modern day football laws and rules
especially now the Laws of the Game have undergone a major amendment
since June 2016 with its implementation in 2017 football session in
Nigeria.

Apart
from asking relevant authorities in Nigeria to seek a means of
enlightening Clubs, officials and players on the Laws of Game, the
NRA has well grounded and knowledgeable FIFA and CAF trained Referees
Instructors who can be despatched to tutor clubs on laws guiding the
round leather game. The NRA urges clubs and players to avail
themselves this opportunity for better understanding in future
engagements,” Azeez said.

The
Nigeria Referees Association continued that they are assuring the
Nigeria Football Federation, League Management Company and other
stakeholders of their continued partnership and support as well as
free, fair and firm officiating in the on going football season.

Already,
the League Management Company have asked that Folusho Ajayi be
withdrawn pending an assessment of her performance. 

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