Despite the heavy fines that were slammed on erring teams whose fans attacked match officials earlier this season, another case of referees being attacked has been reported in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Fans of Sunshine Stars of Akure allegedly beat up the centre referee, Damian Akure, after their goalless draw at home to Kano Pillars on Sunday.
Reports with pictures claim that the home crowd descended on the officials after he (centre referee) sounded the final whistle.
Damian Akure had Emmanuel Apine and Lewis Gwantana as his Assistant referees while Kenneth Onyiro was the fourth official
However, the media officer for Sunshine, Chris Okunnuwa, denied the attack but admitted that a fan threw an object at the referee which may have wounded him.
“Honestly the referees were not attacked or assaulted physically, there was no way that would have happened anyway due to the heavy security presence on ground for the Sunshine Stars – Kano Pillars game.
“But truly a water object was thrown from the crowd towards the officials on their way to the dressing room after the game and that could have caught the injured official. I know the club won’t shy away from taken responsibility for this.
“Shame it appeared the way it is already but in truth the referees were not assaulted save for the object thrown by a spectator in the crowd and last time I checked serious efforts were already on to fish out the object thrower and bring him to book.
“I am saying this with all level of assurance and certainty no one will attack referee(s) this season and beyond in Akure with the measures on ground and the fans education.”
The League Management Company will be banking on the official report from its Match Commissioner to take an informed decision on this latest saga.