Football fans on Monday condemned the barbaric act that followed the 1-1 scoreline between Remo Stars FC and visiting Bendel Insurance FC in which the referee, Bethel Nwanesi, was attacked on Sunday by fans.

The club’s management also condemned the unfortunate incident at Gateway International Stadium, Sagamu with a promise to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Violence ensued after the blast of the final whistle by the referee as some fans took to the field to protest the alleged poor officiating of the match.

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The attendant circumstances led to the center referee being physically assaulted with a cut on his head allegedly inflicted on him by the irate fans.

Condemning the unfortunate incident, Collins Nzubechi, a Lagos-based journalist, described the incident as shameful, calling on the league’s management to enforce strict penalty.

“This is really bad and disgusting of Remo Stars, a big shame on the fans for not knowing how to put their emotions and fanatism in check. In football, you lose, win or draw. Heavens will not fall.

“The League Management Company (LMC) should act immediately. LMC should deduct points before midweek matches.

“This is getting too much, even if the referee misbehaves, can’t this overzealous fans and administrators of this clubs put their emotions in check?

 

Also, a Lagos fan, Abdul Rasheed Ohinuyi, said that the violence that greeted the match was a pointer to the fact that the league had yet to develop.

“The violence has clearly demonstrated that there is no development in our league,” he said.

In a related development, the Remo Stars FC, (RSFC), said it regretted the unfortunate incident that happened after the NPFL Match Day 3 game.

The Media Officer of the Sky Blue team, Oladimeji Oshode, said after the final whistle of the game which ended 1-1, that an intruder gained access to the match officials and unfortunately one of the officials got injured.

He also said that the management had promised to fish out those involved in that barbaric act of injuring the referee.

“A manhunt has started immediately as the management of the club and the Nigeria Police, Sagamu Division, are working closely to ensure that the intruder is brought to book.

“We totally regret and condemn this act as we don’t encourage violence in football.

“The management, however, frowned at the referee’s call by disallowing the 88th minute goal by Remo against Bendel Insurance,” Oshode said in a statement.

He said: “In the same vein of condemning this act, we will also like to indicate that the referee, Bethel Nwanesi’s calls all through the game were questionable.

“In the 88th minute a good goal was scored, which would have been the winning goal, but was ruled offside and disallowed by the referee which caused an uproar among the fans.

“This, of course, is no reason why anyone should get hurt, we have lost games at home in the past against Plateau United, Enyimba FC, MFM FC, Rivers United without witnessing such violence.

“We also want to make staunch warming to supporters or individuals who come with the intention of disrupting or causing violence in the stadium.

“We want to say that the club will severely deal with anyone found guilty of such behaviour,” he said. (NAN)

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