Week 36 of the Nigeria Football Premier League game between Sunshine Stars and Lobi Stars in Akure, Ondo state quickly escalated to chaos as angry sunshine stars fans invaded the pitch with at least 13 minutes of the official time to be played mobbing match officials and a cameraman.
According to Lobi Stars on their, the official camera man of the team was attacked, beaten unconscious and his camera destroyed. He was immediately rushed to hospital.
Lobi opened the scoring after six minutes through Abdulrahman Bashir, but the home fans became unruly when they felt Sunshine ought to have been awarded two penalties in the course of the game.
In another news, the week 36 game between Nasarawa United and Sharks Football Club in Lafia was abandoned after 66 minutes of play over what the visiting side felt was an unjustified penalty kick call.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the game, which was thrilling until that point, had already seen four goals, with both sides scoring twice each.
However, in the 66th minute, Afeez Aremu of Sharks FC committed a foul against Ugochukwu Leonard of Nasarawa United in the penalty box.
Referee Abubakar Ago immediately pointed to the spot and dismissed Aremu, a decision which was disputed by the Sharks players and officials.
This continued till the match was abandoned by Ago who had waited for 15 minutes for the Sharks players to return for the match to continue.
In an interview with NAN, Okey Kpareku, Sharks’ general manager, said he was disappointed with the match’s officiating.
He said: “I feel so bad about the way we have our games organised and officiated. The League management should do its best to put in officials, put in a lot of human resources into the system.
“It is just for us to appreciate what they have done and give a good outing, an outing that is commendable. Instead of us (clubs) to do that, we use our hands to spoil the system which is very bad.
“It is as if we don’t appreciate the LMC who are doing their best.”
On Sharks’ next line of action, Kpareku said his team would wait for a final decision from the League Management Company (LMC).
“Sharks players were on the pitch till after the centre referee blew the final whistle.
“My players saw what happened and it is too obvious. We know the referee has the final say. They were there on the pitch and they were there until the 15th minute then the referee called off the game.
“So, we will wait for the LMC and look forward to whatever they will say and, probably, what the authorities concerned will do. We will now begin to move from there,” he said.
Festus Allen, Sharks’ head coach, said the way referee Ago awarded the penalty kick and issued a red card to Aremu prompted his team to abandon the match.
“I cannot say much because I am short of words. You saw what led to the protest and the way we were given red card,” he said.