By Mfon Patrick
Former FIFA badge referee, Linus Mba wants football players and referees in the country to be acquainted with the latest changes in the rules of the game as approved by world’s football governing body in the upcoming 2016/17 NPFL season.
Mba made the call while interacting with Akwa United media unit at the end of a one-day seminar organised for players of the club by the management of the team in Uyo.
The former president of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) explained that adequate knowledge and understanding of the latest changes in the rules of the game will help players to avoid committing unnecessary fouls during matches.
“Players usually get confused with the interpretations of the laws of the game, and as a result, they commit lots of fouls in the field of play.
“Laws guiding the game have been reshaped in such a way that decisions are more flexible and fair, so players deserve to know more about the latest changes,” Mba explained.
The former referee said changes in the laws of the game will be implemented in the NPFL for the first time this season, he however urged referees to ensure they give proper interpretation of the laws during matches in the football season.
“Series of seminars have been organised for referees in this country in respect to the latest changes in the rules of the game, so as to make them more conversant with the changes.
“The level of success may not be 100 per cent but we are sure that it will help referees to make fair decisions during matches,” Mba said.
The latest changes in the rules of football borders more on incidents that attract yellow and red cards, offside decisions, restarting of games, changes in line-up, as well as issues on substitutions.