Clamping down on violence in NPFL will be difficult, Akanni says

By Aderonke Ojediran-Lawal
An ex-international, Waidi Akanni, on Sunday said the steps being taken to address the recurrent issue of violence in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) would not solve the problem.

Akanni, who is a one-time Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that hard measures were required.

“Barely two weeks into the league our referees were being beaten all over the places, and it is still continuing. So, the point is to go back and educate our football fans which is one thing.

“But the other thing is for the owners of the league body and the owners of the clubs not to be in line with what is obtainable when someone offends. This is very wrong.

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“So, my point, very clearly, is that it is going to take a while.

”It is not just going to take spectators’ education as far as Nigeria is concerned now.

“If it was in other climes, officials of teams beating up referees will get banned for life. But, over here, somebody somewhere will tell you ‘oh, I know the (league) chairman’.

“I was once an FA Chairman and I can say authoritatively that the owners of clubs compromise with the league managers.

“That is one of the problems of Nigerian league,” he said.(NAN)

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