Security operatives on Saturday foiled an attempted attack on officials handling the Week 5 game between Road Safety FC of Abuja and DMD FC of Maiduguri.
The group A2 Nigeria National League (NNL) match, played at the Area 3 football pitch, Abuja, witnessed few scoring chances from both sides as DMD FC succeeded in forcing the home team to a barren draw.
Towards the end of the game, curses and threats against the officials emanated from Road Safety’s bench alongside fans outside the pitch.
As the center referee, Jeremiah Akure, blew the final whistle, officers of the Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps made their way into the pitch to guarded Akure and his colleagues from a few Road Safety players who attempted to attack them.
With the officials now safe, an unhappy Akande Onigbinde, coach of Road Safety FC, said the situation was borne out of frustration.
“The officiating was not good enough. Everybody (other teams) now thinks that Abuja is a place where you can come and do as you please.
“The referees are killing the game. It seems it’s all about money and power.
“When you take the pains to train hard, together with the funds the management is putting in, and you have someone destroying your effort, it is painful.
“I have spoken to the players to calm their nerves and we are looking forward to our next game,” Onigbinde said.
On his part, Balarabe Musa-Mohammed, coach of DMD FC, said the officiating was fair.
”The officiating was fair enough. We even thought that the centre referee was favouring the home side.
“We didn’t expect what we saw at the end of the game. The home team didn’t behave well,” he said.
Shehu Kagara, the match commissioner from Niger state, lauded the security operatives for their prompt response.
“The referee is a former Nigeria Professional Football League referee. The home team thought that they could win at all costs but this is impossible and they tried to torment the referee but all thanks to the security operatives available,” Kagara added.
DMD FC now has seven points from four matches while Road Safety has five points, also from four matches.