…. as referee Foluso Ajayi’s decisions disrupts match between Kano Pillars and FC Ifeanyi Ubah
The 2016/2016 NPFL season kicked off on a disappointing and dissatisfactory note yesterday as the curtain raiser between Kano Pillars and FC Ifeanyi Ubah at the Sani Abacha stadium was abandoned after a spate of controversial decisions by the centre referee, Folusho Ajayi.
The match which was billed to be aired live by Supersport but pulled down for unknown reasons came to an abrupt end after Prince Aggreh’s sublime goal via a direct freekick in stoppage time of the first half was wrongly and controversially chalked off by the centre referee, Folusho Ajayi.
The match started in an exhilarating fashion as both sides thrilled the enthusiastic Kano crowd to a wonderful game of football. However, the first signs of bias was made apparent when Kano Pillars were awarded a goal as Gambo Mohammed tapped the ball home from an offside position after Amos Gyang’s shot ricocheted off the post despite the fact that the assistant referee’s flag was rightly raised for offside and totally ignored by the centre referee who waved away all protests by the visiting team.
The goal spurred FC Ifeanyi Ubah into life as they attacked the Kano Pillars defence voraciously, offering the visiting team the opportunity to restore parity. The crucial moment did come in the stoppage time of the first half as Kone Yaya was fouled by one of the pillars’defenders in the process, a free kick was awarded by the centre referee at the edge of the 18-yard box which former Kano Pillars winger, Prince Aggreh stepped up and dispatched with aplomb only for the referee to disallow the goal, bringing the first half to an immediate controversial end in the process.
The protests began as FC Ifeanyi Ubah players enquired to know her reasons for disallowing the goal which she purportedly claimed was cancelled because the first half was over. This response did not go down well with FC Ifeanyi Ubah officials and players alike and the ensuing controversy ensured that the match was ended abruptly.
Referee Folusho Ajayi who was also culpable for the controversy that trailed Plateau United and Heartland FC on the last day of the 2015/2016 NPFL season is expected to face sanctions by the Nigerian Football Referees Association and the NFF.