The 2020/2021 Nigeria National League (NNL) failed to kick off as expected on Friday as the two scheduled matches failed to hold as a result of non-appearance of match officials.
EFCC Football Club of Abuja were to host FC Taraba in Abuja in a Northern Conference A1 fixture.
Malumfashi FC were also to host Zamfara United in a Group A2 action in Malumfashi.
But both matches failed to hold as the referees for the games refused to show up.
NAN reports that both teams at the Abuja venue, Area 3 football Pitch, turned up for the game, while a substantial number of spectators and several others also showed up.
It was however learnt that the officials refused to show up in protest at non-payment of certain money by the NNL Secretariat for some time now.
When contacted, NNL’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Emmanuel Adesanya, confirmed the non-appearance of the match officials at both venues.
He also confirmed that the match officials were not at the match venues as a result of a protest over non-payment of some money being owed by the league organisers.
”We know that the match appointments were made by the Referees Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), while we also heard today that the referees did not show up for the matches.
”But we are handling the situation as it should be, and we are holding discussions with all parties involved,” Adesanya said.
He assured that by late Friday all contending issues would have been resolved.
”We want to resolve all matters by Friday night, so that today’s matches would be played on Saturday morning in both venues.”
The NNL COO said this would also help in ensuring the other Match Day 1 fixtures slated for Saturday in the league would not be disrupted.
”We want this slight disruption to remain as it is —- a slight disruption. Once we can get the referees on the pitch by Saturday morning, we would have done it, and the league will go on as earlier scheduled,” he said.