The Nigeria Professional Football League is ranked the 57th strongest national league in the world and the seventh-best in Africa, according to the 2019 estimation by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics
But the NPFL will struggle to get better and improve its ranking if match officials, especially centre referees, do not stop their corrupt practices, says MFM FC defender, Kabiru Olatunbosun Moshood.
The former Ikorodu United ace agrees that referees take bribes to swing matches in favour of home teams, a practice that makes away wins a rarity on the domestic scene.
Before the suspension of the league campaign, Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC occupied the 14th position on the NPFL table after winning eight games and drawing seven of the 25 matches played.
Only two of those victories came on away grounds, though – at Heartland and Enugu Rangers.
Further up the table, league leaders Plateau United sit above everyone else after garnering 49 points from 14 wins and seven draws. Yet, a majority of their successes have come in front of their home fans with only three away victories recorded.
By contrast, Liverpool are the best team in England this term with 12 of their 27 victories coming at hostile away grounds.
Moshood believes the NPFL can attain that height of excellence only by the impartiality of the match officials.
“Yes, it’s true,” Moshhod told the Sun-News in response to a question asking if it’s true that NPFL referees are corrupt.
“We’ve got so many corrupt match officials who turn games around for reasons best known to them.
“I think a normal football match should be a game of 50/50. There shouldn’t be anything like home and away.
“Our referees should learn to copy the European style while handling any game. They should learn to stop giving the home team full advantage, while the away team suffers.
“I believe with professional officiating, the league will be okay.”