Killing fields or football pitches? The story of Match Day 3

A fan of Remo Stars? Was that a punch?
Match Day 3 in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL was sadder than the first day because another referee was almost killed, this time in Shagamu.

What was his crime? He did not give what should have been a winning goal scored by the home side. The game eventually ended 1-1. Fans of the home team and club president, Kunle Soname thought it was a legitimate goal though.

I saw the photos, I saw the videos, especially one that made it seem like the club president of Remo Stars was justifying the actions of the fans

Why was it sadder than Match Day 1? In this case, the club president tried to justify the actions of the fans and blame the referee for the misfortune that befell him.

I hear he has posted an apology for his statement and action of the fans; I hear (the club) they have started a massive social media campaign to make it seem as though they are sorry for what they did, but it is just too bad that they cannot undo what they did at the Stadium in Shagamu.

Why what happened at Shagamu may happen again this season

So, the referee disallowed a goal scored by the home side and they pounce on him?

If he had allowed the goal by the home side, he would have been branded a kill joy by the away side. This is the reason why our football cannot and will not grow. We second guess every decision by the referee as long as it does not favour our team.

Charles Omokaro scored first for Insurance before Victor Mbaoma equalized for Remo Stars, then the goal was disallowed.

We are all coaches as well as referees and we interpret the laws of the game to suit our agenda.

When I heard about the mayhem at Remo I smiled because they are not first-time offenders, but I wondered why it was happening when it was just their first game.

Then I saw pictures of a badly damaged referee, but that was not the worst of it.

I saw a video of Kunle Soname the one who supposedly owns the club and another Football Club in Portugal seemingly justifying the actions of the fans.

This is Soname

Why would the Shagamu incident happen again? Because no club has really been punished for this kind of aggressive behavior. Oh! Clubs have been fined and banished to strange lands, but apparently those sanctions are not working.

To think that in a 20-team league, 4 clubs are relegated but in a 12 team league group the same number goes down will tell the desperation of clubs to stay up and win all home games.

It is just Match Day 3 and mayhem has been unleashed twice. It will be a very long season ahead of us. The club administrators are desperate and, in their desire, to stay up, they will engage thugs to do their bidding for them.

Heartland win on the road, what a shock

Heartland were guests of Nasarawa United and got three points in Lafia.

Now it is either Heartland are that good (Which I sincerely doubt) or Nasarawa United are that bad (which seems the case).

Heartland's 17- year old striker, Sam Nnoshiri
Heartland were sure candidates for relegation last season before the boardroom decision not to relegate any side rescued them.

They were the talk of the football writers when they unveiled twenty-two new players two weeks to the season, but here we are.

The funny thing is that Heartland’s goal was scored by a 17-year-old, Samuel Nnoshiri. How many 17-year olds play in the League or even get to score the winning goal away from home, but there is really little hype around him. The club is not doing much to promote the prodigy.

We need to talk about FC Ifeanyi Ubah

After three games, FC Ifeanyi Ubah are yet to concede a goal. They have won once and had two draws on the road.

Drawing 0-0 at Go Round FC was big as they were able to soak up all the pressure from the ball playing home side. They were not in a hurry, they did not make many mistakes, they just defended and tried to strike off the counter, a tactic that worked well for them in the end. They got the point, didn’t they?

Word on the street is that the team was/ is cash strapped, could not pay their millionaire players any more leading to a mass exodus from the team. They had to hold an Open Screening exercise in other to grab new players for the season and whatever they did is working for them.

The boys are young, full of energy and do not tire all match long. If they continue at this pace, they will be the surprise of the season, but more often than not, young sides like these find a way to fizzle out in the business end of the league.

Away sides should be able to attack

Enyimba is an example of this. They went to Ilorin and did not defend but took the game to their hosts.

Enyimba went ahead twice in that game but were unlucky to lose 3-2 in the end.

It is natural for away sides in the League to adopt what the coaches call “Away tactics” when they travel.

Away tactics means playing just one man upfront and parking a mean bus behind.

It is good to have the League back after so long but the football discussed will be better served if it is what happens on the pitch regarding the players and not other incidents that are unsavoury like in Shagamu and Jos.

We await Match Day 4.

All the Match Day 3 results

Plateau United 2-0 El Kanemi
Wikki 2-1 Tornadoes
Kwara United 3-2 Enyimba
Remo Stars 1-1 Insurance
Go Round 0-0 FC Ifeanyiubah
Kano Pillars 1-1 Akwa United
Kada City 2-1 Gombe United
Nasarawa United 0-1 Heartland
Plateau Utd 2-0 El-Kanemi

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