Of recent, there has been an upsurge in acts of hooliganism by supporters and fans of some football clubs in the on-going Globacom Premier League.
The attacks have been centered on the center referees and the assistants and the situation already tense is becoming worrisome.
The incidents in Enugu, and recently in Minna where the center referee was almost lynched calls for concern. Ex International Adokie Amiesimaka and Brigadier General Emmanuel Okaro (rtd) share the view that the NFA needs not only to apply stiffer sanctions but see to it that the sanctions are severe in every sense of the word and offenders prosecuted.
Adokie advocated for the arrest and trial of offenders at the law courts, as a way of stemming the tide and sending the message home.
â€œThe punitive measures should be SEVERE. Not the N1m fine that NPL is talking about. This is a serious matter. Many people I know do not watch league matches not because they are not interested but due to the problem of security.
We have to arrest individuals and charge them to court and publicise this measures to stop further acts of hooliganism. We can also introduce theÂ use of Stewards, whose duty will be to watch the crowd and protect match officials during matches. The Stewards should be paid from the allowances of the match officials, so that they are aware that their loyalty is to the match officials,â€ Amiesimaka said.
General Okaro drove the point home when he said Club owners are part of the problem. The retired General said some of the club owners engage hooligans to do their bidding. â€œSome of these hooligans are on the pay roll of some of these clubs and they use them to intimidate match officials who fail to comply.
The reason why nobody has been arrested or jailed is because the club owners are involved. In situations where clubs are banished, club owners go behind to change the decisionsâ€, he said.