El Kanemi Warriors head coach Mohammed Babaganaru has called on the League Management Company (LMC) and Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) to look into activities of referees and how their decisions affect games after their controversial 1 – 0 away loss to group B table-toppers FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Thursday in Nnewi.
Reacting to his team’s loss to FC Ifeanyi Ubah in Nnewi the veteran coach in an exclusive chat with footballlive.ng revealed that the officiating in the game was questionable and worrisome especially the incident that led to the game’s only goal in the 34th minute which Babaganaru has referred to as an obvious offside decision and the goal should not have been allowed.
The coach insists that despite the praises that have been showered on the referees since the start of the season for their good jobs, it seems the men in black are gradually reverting to their old ways. “I feel so bad. To be sincere I wasn’t so happy with the officiating. At the beginning of the season we started praising the referees they are doing a great job but to be sincere, after week eight and week nine they are already changing.
Everyone was thinking that the issues we always had with officiating had become a thing of the past. But the way it is now, there are some questionable decisions the referees are taking.”
Players of El Kanemi Warriors protested the goal vehemently especially goalkeeper of the team Itodo Akor and Babaganaru has stated that the player reacted emotionally to the poor decision by the linesman. “He is a human being, sometimes it’s like that. If you have been cheated sometimes you come out like that. We calmed them down and after they were calmed we played better in the second half and we dominated the game.”
Babaganaru has also called on the LMC to look into incidents involving ball hiding by the ball boys. “One other problem we are facing in the league is the issue of hiding balls. These ball boys are kids and we don’t need to teach them corrupt things. Anytime the home team scores a goal and the opponents are fighting to get back you will see them hiding the balls.
Today we played with only one ball. We the officials became the ball boys. The LMC needs to do something about it.” He said.