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Nigeria League match officials say they are considering hiring the services of private bodyguards

Posted: 18 March 2013 Time: 13:20

As Nigeria's chequered 2012/2013 League season enters it's second week this Wednesday, match officials say they are considering hiring the services of private bodyguards.

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Nigerian league venues have long been considered unsafe, especially when results do not favour the home teams, with referees usually targeted for particular, violent attention.

While the first week of competition passed without incident, officials remain wary of the threat of potential violence, as evidenced by the vicious, karate-style variety unleashed on Gabriel Adigwe in Enugu and captured on live television, by people suspected to be fans of Heartland FC.

"We have our BlackBerry Messenger group where some of us discuss issues and one of the things we have talked about is getting private security to protect us," one prominent referee, who did not wish to be named, told

"Referees are always getting beaten up at matches, and most times, the clubs know the people responsible and even allow them on the pitch or in the referees' dressing room.

"It is difficult to do a good job as a referee when you are not sure of your safety.

"So don't be surprised if at some point this season, you see some referees travel with well-equipped bodyguards from these private security companies to match venues.

"We will pay them out of our pockets, even if it means using the match indemnities to do so."

And in a frank admission of the state of the game, a second referee admitted that clubs offer bribes to match officials.

"Many referees take the money because they have to 'settle' people.

"That is why you see some referees get more games than others who are more competent and unbiased.

"In fact, clubs reject certain referees for their home games because they feel that they will get no advantage, but they celebrate when they see these unbiased referees at their away games."

The referee added that match officials are sometimes put on the spot by club officials, "These officials usually collect money from their bosses, and tell them that the referee has been 'settled'.

"When things don't go their way, their fans take it out on the referee believing he cheated them, or took more money from the opposing team.

"It is a no win situation.

"But corruption in football is just a reflection of the wider problems in the Nigerian society, so it would be unfair to blame just the referees," he said.

Previous comments on this story...

Super Green
posted: 01:30 pm
Unbelievable basically there is never an honest/real result in Nigeria League football?
Dooba [Glory Deferred]
posted: 01:35 pm
Nigerians football fans are a darker version of Pierats fans in SA... nothing satisfy them
The CV Chef MUST Die
posted: 01:38 pm
Dooba JCW
Msunu wakho!
Bin Laden
posted: 01:49 pm
The CV Chef MUST Dieposted: 01:38 pm | Report Dooba JCW
Msunu wakho!

LOL, ur nym must be banned dude..
posted: 02:06 pm
That stadium is empty, that's why he could lash out a red card.

I also want to KICKBOX Daniel Bennet, hope they make him ref when we play Swallows e Dobsi..
posted: 02:16 pm
Only in Nigeria
posted: 02:19 pm
And this people call themselves the leaders and giants of Africa where a ref is scared to be honest. You will never see a single comment fron Nigerians when the story is about Nigerian football. You will find them worshipping Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd.

In mzansi we support idiski and don't give a damn about European foreign football.
posted: 03:26 pm
Im black South African and can tell u that most EDUCATED, WELL INFORMED BLACKS IN S.A. DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH NIGERIANS. Dooba here is just expressing his INFERIOR COMPLEX just like most Joburg blacks.

Am sure he come from the GUTTER/Township.
posted: 03:29 pm
@CV Chef
I support u my brother we must stop all TOWNSHIP LOW lifes who think its acceptable to be RACIST towards our fellow Africans. Bayaboyika abelungu ke leminsunu yonina.
posted: 03:31 pm
Refs in SA are also crooks they receive bribes from teams like Chiefs and other big teams. Am sure u must be from the 30% matric pass generation.
posted: 03:32 pm
YOu cant trust these Nijas. they are like Pierats fans.
where is Phill Setsedi & Mandla Peter Tsewula Sithole
posted: 03:51 pm
Thank God we even ve unbias ref. in Nigeria. God bless Nigeria
Glamour dude
posted: 04:57 pm
"But corruption in football is just a reflection of the wider problems in the Nigerian society, so it would be unfair to blame just the referees," he said.

Need i say more?
AlQaeda 2012/13 PSL Champ
posted: 05:02 pm
Operation dribble
Khosi my Religion - 2012/2013 PSL Champions
posted: 05:43 pm
we dont give a rats arse about what happening in nigerian football or the country in general, those ppl just can't get themselves in order.
posted: 07:56 pm
Corruption is all over africa. I am a nigerian and all this happen in our society. The corrupt leaders will never allow the good ones do the job. But with all this issues, nigeria produces world class players year in year out. But africa will get there. South africa has given us 2 world class games ( the world cup and the nations cup) and africa will move on from there.
posted: 09:29 pm
What do we expect from Nigeria...mxa
posted: 03:32 pm
n they say a pope can come frm nigeria, hehehe wat wil hapen in vatican?
posted: 06:34 pm
Nigerians don't hide their problems under the carpet we wear our courage to confront them. I just don't have time for drug addicts and killers today.
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