NPFL: Referee escapes mob attack as Rangers, Pillars match end in violence

Scene of the mob attack by fans at the Agege Stadium
Scene of the mob attack by fans at the Agege Stadium

The ugly side of the Nigerian League was brought to the fore again on Monday as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Super Six fixture between Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers ended violently.

Both teams battled to a 1-1 draw in the first match of the day in the ongoing Super-Six, but the violence that greeted the match will be in the front burner rather than the scoreline.

Fans later went on a rampage when they encroached into the pitch of the Agege Stadium, throwing dangerous objects at match officials.

Violence

Kano Pillars had taken the lead in Monday’s encounter when their captain, Rabiu Ali curled in a beautiful free kick in the 54th minute.

Pillars had a shout for a penalty kick afterwards but the centre referee, Quadri Adebimpe waved it off to the dismay of the players and the fans who started getting agitated.

The situation turned worse when Rangers few minutes to the end of the game were awarded a penalty. The fans started hurling objects into the field.

While six minutes added time was given, Rabiu Ali’s free-kick was delayed due to the fan’s disturbances and soon after the kick was made, the referee sounded the final whistle which infuriated the Kano Pillars captain.

Ali, one of the veterans in the NPFL, went straight to the referee barking at him and seemed to be asking him to show his stoppage time.

With the atmosphere getting further tensed, Referee Adebimpe had to run for his life due as the fans went after him.

‘Season of violence’

Over N10 million has been paid in fines by clubs for the violent conduct of their fans during the regular season.

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It is yet to be seen how the League Management Company, organisers of the league will react to this latest show of shame.

Pillars after four games are top on the log in the Super Six with eight points.

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