ILORIN – The Head Coach of Nigeria Prisons Football Club, Zibiri Brown, on Sunday said Nigerian referees have made the Nigeria National League (NNL) to look like a primary school league.
Brown said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to his Abuja-based club’s 1-3 loss to Kwara United FC in Ilorin on Saturday.
He also spoke against the background of his team’s inconclusive last home game to Ranchers Bees FC of Kaduna on July 19 in Abuja.
The coach advised Nigerian referees to step up their game so as to make the second tier of the country’s football league better than it is presently.
“We want the NNL to critically look at referees sent for matches, because some of them always make the league look like a primary school league”
“The NNL is next to the Premier League but they (the referees) have made it look so childish.
“I want to advise the referees to step up their officiating, so that we can have a better league,” he said.
Brown said poor officiating had as a consequence affected Nigerian clubs’ performance on the continent, adding “they are not always the best, because the referees secured the ticket for them.
“If you have money, you will get the ticket to go for continental competitions. It is not the better said that always wins,” he said.
In a reaction, the President of Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Ahmed Maude, however said the referees were improving gradually, and backed his contention by pointing at the Premier League.
“Nigerians should not use a match to judge referees. Rather, they should look at the entire system. There are lots of quality referees in the country,’’ he said.
The NRA president promised that officiating in the NNL would henceforth be given a serious monitoring.
Meanwhile, the Prisons FC coach has praised for his players for their performance against Kwara United FC, and expressed the hope that his club would survive relegation.
He said his team lost to a better team which was having a good day, and showered praises on Kwara United.
NAN reports that a brace in the first half by John Chukwudi and a penalty kick by Lateef Adigun gave Kwara United the win.
The visiting side got their lone goal through an own goal by the hosts’ goalkeeper, Ismaila Shagari.(NAN)