Controversy and counter-accusations were at their lowest level on the opening weekend of the domestic league
Nigerian referees should be commended for their fantastic performances on matchday one of the 2022/23 season of the Nigeria Premier Football League, says the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau.
In what is an almost unusual happening, four away wins, two home victories and four draws were recorded on the opening weekend of the league season.
Newly promoted Bendel Insurance kicked it off with a stunning 2-0 triumph over Akwa United at the Nest of Champions Stadium in Uyo. Niger Tornadoes shocked home side Wikki Tourists by the same scoreline. Former league winners Enyimba secured a fine 2-1 win at Nasarawa United. And Abia Warriors completed the away wins when they shocked Enugu Rangers two-nil.
Only reigning champions Rivers and Remo Stars were able to make home advantage count with victories over Lobi Stars and El-Kanemi Warriors respectively.
And as much as clubs take a chunk of the credit for putting together fantastic performances in the NPFL, NFF boss Alhaji Gusau wants the match officials to be applauded for their credibility, unbias and fairness in all the games.
“I am happy with the results in which so many teams won on away ground, as well as the reports we received from most of the centres concerning the performance of the referees,” Gusau told the NFF.
“I want to commend the NFF Referees Committee for putting their right foot forward from the beginning and also charge the referees themselves to sustain credible output going forward.
“We are determined to ensure that so many things about the League change for the better and we will not relent in our efforts.”
MATCHDAY 1 RESULTS (A)
Nasarawa United 1-2 Enyimba FC
Akwa United 0-2 Bendel Insurance
Plateau United 3-3 Shooting Stars
Kwara United 0-0 Gombe United
Remo Stars 2-0 El-Kanemi Warriors
MATCHDAY 1 RESULTS (B)
Bayelsa United 1-1 Dakkada FC
Wikki Tourists 0-2 Niger Tornadoes
Doma United 1-1 Sunshine Stars
Rivers United 2-1 Lobi Stars
Rangers Int’l 0-2 Abia Warriors