The Game of Football. It was said that religion is the opium of the people. During the Match day 3 of the Nigerian Premier League that I watched between Kano Pillars and Akwa United, I saw how the fans of Kano Pillars, like clock-work, moved forward to observe their prayers, while awaiting the game to commence.
The game started on a high octane pace for Pillars who within 5 minutes should have been up by a goal had their tall striker, Ayagwa, used his opportunity smartly to slot home, after a slip by the Central Defender of Akwa United.
Against the run of play with cunny deadly accuracy, the second attack resulted in a goal when Ndirifeke latched onto a well cushioned bring down by Mfon Udoh. His laced shot bungled over the line as Kano Pillars goalkeeper Danladi failed to hold the shot.
That boosted their confidence and soon Pillars were struggling. The sustained pressure paid off when Chris Madaki, the defunct JUTH FC player, ghosted in on the blind side to head downwards which the Cameroon goal keeping import for Akwa United failed to hold as he flapped wrongfully only for the ball to nestle in the back of the net to bring the game back to level terms and it stayed that way. No violence just a well spirited game.
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Moving forward to other venues, in Kaduna, two newly promoted sides traded tackles. That game ended with Kada City taking to spoils as they beat Coach Ladan Bosso tutored Gombe United in a 4 minute flurry of 3 goals (Umar Mohammed 19′; Sadiq Suleiman 22; Ibrahim Enesi 20′). In Nasarawa, the host were downed by a goal produced by the hard-battling Heartland FC who recorded the only away win scored by Samuel Nwoshiri 15′.
The early game, a sort of curtain raiser had Plateau United host El-Kanemi in Ilorin, where they have recovered their battered MOJO with a cushioned two goal win (Saheed Jibril 55′, Bernard Ovoke 74′). The second Ilorin game was a hard fought game with Enyimba on the losing side of this 7 goal thriller.
Twice the away team took the lead but, ended up loosing the game (Segun Alebiosu 31′, 61′; Usman Mohammed 73′ – Ibrahim Mustapha 16′, Joseph Osadiaye 58′ pen). In Gombe which hosts Two teams as Wikki tourist defeated Tornadoes by a 2 goals to 1 slim hard fought victory (Aminu Ahmad 46′, Abba Umar 83′ – Ismaila Sarki 90+4′).
The surprise package of the season, FC Ifeanyi Ubah eked out a scoreless draw against host Go Round FC. The last game was that between newly promoted Remo Stars who hosted their fellow newly promoted counterparts from Edo state – Bendel Insurance, where the game ended as a score drawn game.
This particular game, like the Plateau United game, ended with violence from the crowd. The Referee was beaten black and blue by irate fans for disallowing what at first look like a valid goal but was rightly chucked off as an offside goal according to seasoned Referees instructor and retired FIFA badged Referee, my big daddy Kelechi Mejuobi and, culled from his comments on Sports World a (WhatsApp group), “This graphic illustration is still very amateurish and not a technical explanation to tenets of Law11 Offside.
1. No offside is judge when the ball is in motion therefore pointing where the ball is and position of the scorer is not the correct judgement.
2. The position of the scorer before and as at the time his team mate kicks or touches the ball, the position now matters not when the ball played by his team mate is in motion.
3. If as at the time his team mate touches or plays the ball, the scorer was in offside and while the ball was in motion ( what is wrongly called ball in flight under wrong technical terms) he runs back to take part in that actual phase of the game, he stands punished for office for Interfering with play, an Offside Offence.
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4. Pls don’t use this when the ball is already in motion, show their positions before and when the kicker took the kick before the scorer took control.
5. Unfortunately, the video suspected to be a handiwork of a roadside recorder didn’t give the position of the scorer before the kick. ” The violence must be stopped and a fine like that received by Plateau United should be met on the team. Referees should be allowed to do their job and Back Pass would be investing the increase in crowd violence within the NPFL.
The power of the game is showing, as fans return to our stadia and, we should work not to destroy the lovely game of football and our league. There is a grave need to improve security and make our stadia a family-friendly atmosphere.
Team of the week is Go Round FC, whose first top flight game resulted in victory for a team barely a year old, that defeated their more illustrious opponents, Gombe United.
We must say a huge NO to Referees getting beaten up.
The games this match day produced 3 draws, 4 Home Wins, 1 Away Win, 18 Goals Scored. The fame is back on track.