8th December, 2010
There is no doubt that the Davidson Owumi-led Nigeria Premier League, NPL, isÂ charting a new course, which would reposition the League for better from itsÂ troubling years.
At least, the Nigerian League is attracting positive attention from local,Â international investors and stakeholders now.
However, while the league is gradually picking up in areas like â€˜television friendlyÂ turf,â€™ attendance, prolific play by participating players and clubs, merchandisingÂ etal, same cannot be said of the officiating of the league.
Feelers from Abuja say the assessment reports of some referees, who handled topÂ matches of the five weeks old league season, scored the whistle men below average.
While a few of them are seen to be very mobile, many, according to reports areÂ struggling to come to terms with the pace of the game.
They are not close to the action most of the time, which prevents them from takingÂ accurate decisions during crucial matches.
What this means is that the referees need to raise their work rate to catch up withÂ the new order. The Referees Committee has a duty to do, especially in the area ofÂ fitness.
Their inaccurate decisions showed clearly with several protests that greeted some ofÂ the matches played so far across the nation. The whistle men now have enoughÂ security to do their job without fear or favour.