Sunday 19 February 2017

Dead referee named to officiate Nigerian Premier League match

Wale Akinsanya, who died in January, has been named to referee this weekend's match between Warri Wolves and Giwa

Jack de Menezes

Published 23/04/2016 | 10:19

Head of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick. / AFP / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
Head of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick. / AFP / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Wale Akinsanya has been named as a referee for this weekend’s Nigerian Premier League match between Warri Wolves and Giwa FC, despite passing away three months ago.

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The state of Nigerian football is currently on the verge of crisis point, the BBC reports, with current Nigerian Football Federation president Ameju Pinnick being challenged for power by Chris Gawa, with a court order ruling that Giwa should replace Pinnock even though he is recognised by Fifa.

In a move to try and seize control of the Federation’s operations, Giwa went ahead and published the list of referees for this weekend’s Premier League action, but he failed to notice that Akinsanya – who was penned in to officiate the Wolves vs Giwa fixture – died in January this year.

With Giwa sending his own set of officials, it raises the possibility of two sets of referees arriving for each match this weekend, with the NFF naming their own list and reporting actions to the chief operations officer of the league management company.

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Fifa have also waded into the row by informing the NFF that Pinnick must remain in charge or Nigeria will risk the threat of suspension from global football. The country’s sports minister, Solomon Dalung, has attempted to try and solve the crisis by setting up a reconciliation committee, only for Giwa’s organisation to reject it.

Effiong Johnson, the chairman of chairmen for Giwa’s group, urged his supporters to disregard any actions taken by Dalung, with the committee having just one week to submit a report to the minister.

(© Independent News Service)

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