2nd June, 2010
Disorder reigned at the Akure Township Stadium on Sunday when the Week 34 match between Premier League sides, Sunshine Stars and Enyimba, was abandoned almost 10 minutes to the end, Naijaligue.blogspot.com understands.
It was alleged that five-time champion, the Peoples Elephant as Enyimba are also known, walked off the pitch after the centre referee awarded a second penalty to the home side, Sunshine Stars, inside eight minutes.
But spokesman of the Aba millionaires, Tonnex Chukwu, rubbished reports that the former CAF Champions League winner abandoned the game.
Chukwu claimed that the referee was biased in his officiating as he started off by handing four players from the visiting sideÂ yellow cards and followed it up with a red card to Enyimba safehands, Chijioke Ejiogu.
â€œOur players did not abandon the game. We were shocked to see that the centre referee just blew off the match without even allowing the first half to be concluded.
â€œThe referee tried to intimidate us by giving four of our players yellow cards within 10 minutes of the start of the match. In the 26th minute, he awarded a penalty to the home side, which was saved by Ejiogu. On 34 minutes gave another penalty and it was while our players were still protesting the penalty that he suddenly blew off the game. Initially we thought he blew for the end of the first half, only to find out that it was the final whistle when the first half had not finished,â€ the Enyimba media officer narrated to Naijaligue.blogspot.com.
General Manager of Sunshine Stars, Mike Idoko, said the referee reserves the right on the final call in the outcome of the game.
Idoko, formerly with Warri Wolves as team manager, believes that the match official may have invoked a rule of delay in a match from any of the side to end the game before regulation time.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t want to speak on this. But I think the referee simply stuck to the rule of the game by ending the game. Thereâ€™s the rule that states that if a team protests longer than 120 seconds in a game then the referee can call off the game, which I believe he did in this case. I will not want to speak further but we (Sunshine Stars) will wait to know what happens at the end,â€ said Idoko.