The referees for the fixture between Heartland and Plateau United were attacked.
Heartland of Owerri have backed the supporters of the club after they attacked the match referee in their 1-1 draw against Plateau United on Monday, April 23.
Abiodun Thompson gave Heartland the lead in the 21 st minute but Plateau United scored a last minute goal through Tosin Omoyele to snatch an away point.
In a statement by the club penned by media officer Henry Echefu, the management of Heartland believe that the center referee had a “premeditated motive to favour the away team,” which ultimately resulted into conceding a very late goal.
The statement highlighted below states that the referee made several questionable decisions which made led to the consequences in which he suffered at the end of the game.
The statement says, “That a delightful game that interested all the fans that loved watching good football was marred by the attitude of the center referee Mr Yusuf Garba from Kano state, truly speaking the facts remains that Mr Yusuf Garba marred the game right from the on-set, it was obvious that he already had a premeditated motive to favour the away team which was seen in the several questionable calls he made after the second half of the game which gave room for suspension.”
“At the end of 90 minutes if you watched closely you would have seen the fourth official signaling him Mr Garba for additional time but he International ignored him to allow about 4 minutes before adding 4minutes extra time even when the extra 4 minutes ended the match Commissioner Mr Roland Abu called his attention to end the game as the time was up and following his questionable calls to save the already heated up atmosphere but he responded nothing is happening.”
“All these activities of Mr Garba seriously marred the game and proved he had interest in the match which I think was what must have informed the decision of the fans to angrily rush towards him immediately after the game but for the quick intervention of the men of the Nigerian police it would have been another story of an unending tells, thank God for the quick intervention of the police who stood firm to rescue him surprisingly the police discovered on the referee Mr Garba items around his waist and under his stockings which are not part of the refereeing equipment, but be it as it may it is important that Nigerian refrees help this country's league to grow and produce better teams that will fly the nation's flag in the continent and represent us well in future CAF club competitions, such will help our teams get pass the group stage.”
“The LMC, the NFF and all football stakeholders should do the needful and faster too to save this country's league from disrepute.”
The League Management Committee are yet to issue a verdict on the recent incident as Heartland are expected to take on Kano Pillars in their next fixture on Sunday, April 29.