A Nigerian referee who led a match of the third day of the Nigeria professional Football League (NPFL) on Sunday (January 20th) between Remo Stars and Bendel Insurance was severely beaten by supporters who attacked him shortly after the match.
The referee was beaten by Sagamu-based football club fans who did not accept the way he managed the match.
Bendel Insurance drew 1-1 at home against Remo Stars. Central referee Bethel Nwanesi reportedly favoured the visitors, allowing striker Victor Mbaoma to equalize for the visiting team.
However, two minutes from the end of the time, Remo thought he could get back with the three points after Victor Mbaoma scored, thanks to a well-worked freekick, but the referees refused the goal claiming he was in the position of off-side.
The management of Remo Stars, who issued a statement on the incident, promised to punish the perpetrators: “A manhunt began immediately as the club leadership and the Nigeria Police Division in Sagamu work closely together to ensure that intruders are judged for their actions. We totally regret and condemn these scenes of violence because we do not encourage violence in football.”
“In the same vein, we would also like to point out that the way in which the central referee Bethel Nwanesi managed the match was doubtful, in the 88th minute he refused a good goal, which would have been the goal of the victory, by declaring offside, which caused an uproar among the supporters.”
“Of course, that’s not a reason for someone to be hurt. We have already lost home games against Plateau United, Enyimba FC, MFM FC and Rivers United without witnessing such violence.”
“We also want to reassure fans or people who intend to disrupt or cause violence in the stadium, that the club will treat severely anyone found guilty of such behaviour.”