The Internet was on fire as news broke out last night, that the NPFL match between Katsina United vs Remo Stars, held at Muhammadu Dikko Stadium on the 26th of June 2022, was alleged to have had 36 minutes worth of added time in the Second half of play, with many angry Nigerians blasting the LMC and the NPFL managements, alongside poor officiating from the referees.
The Officiating referees were accused of adding 36 more minutes in a supposed game that could have ended in a draw state after 90 minutes.
Having been thrown chunks of scrutiny lacking facts in the last 18hrs, the LMC and NPFL management, via the official website of the League Management Company, have come out to refute such malicious claims. The LMC believes such claims were only made to tarnish the images of the LMC and NPFL in the eyes of the public.
The statement from the official website thus read below:
“It has become necessary to correct the erroneous viral news of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) MatchDay 35 fixture in Katsina (Katsina Utd vs Remo Stars) played on Sunday June 26th 2022.
Some social media accounts have been spreading information that the match between Katsina United and Remo Stars had over 30 minutes added time.
This is not true. The match was disrupted by players of Katsina United who protested Remo Stars second equalising goal late in the game. In the process of the players contesting the Referees decision, there was encroachment on the field of play and it took some time before the encroachment was cleared and normalcy was restored.
The goal stood and the match duly restarted to conclude the remaining added minutes. However, most of those commenting, including some Sports Journalists followed the match on online live game trackers such as Livescore, Betway, flashscore and it need be pointed out that these platforms hardly indicate that a game was inactive and most times leaves there match clock active through out the match.
It is not possible for a Referee to allow 30 minutes of added time in a 45 minutes half. We appeal to fans and the media to always verify the information they share, especially such that are detrimental to the health of the brand.
It will be recalled that on MatchDay 33 there was a similar incident in the match between Lobi Stars and Heartland which had several stoppages due to injuries and time wastage right from the first half. The game was not conclude on time and the same internet websites/blogs reported the match as having 27minutes added time which was totally not correct but also created similar confusion.
Furthermore, it must be emphasized for the general public to note that only the Match Official is in charge of the official timing of a match and not any online websites/blogs. The LMC is therefore awaiting the official match reports on the encroachment at Katsina so as to take appropriate actions/sanctions on any party found to have erred pursuant to the stipulations of the NPFL framework and rules”
In a different scenario, The 2022 NPFL Champions, Rivers United FC, were officially given the guard of honour as they took on their counterpart, Nassarawa United. although they would go ahead to lose the game 3-2, as the Home side, Nassarawa United, put up a good and solid fight until the last minute.