Abuja - Fans on Saturday assaulted Gimba Mohammed the centre referee who officiated their match against Plateau United FC of Jos, after a 1-2 loss.
The match a week 25 encounter of the Nigeria National League (NNL) saw assistant referees Idris Alhassan and Mohammed Dankogi, been assaulted by the rampaging fans.
The media reports that the attack on match officials was in reaction to the two penalties awarded to the visitors which were converted by Plateau united strikers.
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John Kim opened score for United in the 10th minute when the centre referee Mohammed blew the whistle for a penalty after a TEAP defender handled the ball in the box.
TEAP got an equaliser in the 61st minute through a penalty kick well taken by Uloha Ndubuisi, but the celebration was short-lived when the referee pointed toward TEAP eighteen yard box for another penalty.
It was neatly converted by Charles Okafor in the 71th minute.
Efforts by TEAP to equalise proved abortive as United players defended from all the angles to end the game 2-1 with maximum three points.
TEAP fans, who alleged compromised, however, invaded the pitch after the final whistle and rain punches on the match officials.
It took the intervention of some armed men from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to bring the situation under control.
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FCT Police patrol arrived about 20 minutes of the incident and drove the match officials away to safety.
Patrick Mancha, Coach of Plateau United, told the media that the victory was deserved and that Plateau United already had one foot in the Premier League.
“We merited those goals and TEAP players and officials know that; there was no way a referee would see a ball handled in the penalty box and turned a blind eye to it.”
“Today’s victory has taken us to the second spot on the table,” Mancha said.
Samuel Abimbola, Coach of TEAP FC, said football would continue to nosedive in the country if match officials continue the way they were going.
“I weep for Nigeria football because if Plateau United had outplayed my boys, I will not be complaining, but it is glaring now that it is not how prepared a team is that determines how you win a match.”
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“I want this referee to explain where he saw the penalties he awarded to Plateau United and more than three times my striker was brought down in the opponent’s eighteen yard box.”
“A Plateau United player also handles the ball in their box but he waved them off; that is why I say that our football is doomed,” Abimbola said.
He said that those who attacked the match officials might have been spectators, who were bitter with the officiating of the match and not TEAP fans or players.
The media reports that TEAP are in the relegation zone with five matches to go in the NNL season.