March, 25 2023.
The body in charge of repositioning the nation's top flight league (NPFL), the League Management Committee (IMC) has vowed to remain steadfast in ensuring that the gains of the first stanza of the 2022/23 abridged league, are consolidated on and where possible, improved upon as the league resumes this weekend after a mid-season break.
Chairman of the IMC, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye stated this in Abuja on the sidelines of Nigeria's 0-1 capitulation to Guinea Bissau in a 2024 Afcon qualifier, played on Friday.
Prior to the resumption of the league this weekend, about 200 Premier League Referees converged in Abuja, in two batches for a mid-season Seminar.
The IMC Chair noted that having received praises for a good job done in the first round, his team has redoubtable its efforts with a view to ensuring that the league continues to appreciate, not just in the view of the IMC or the Nigeria Football Federation, but in the mindset of the clubs, stakeholders, and football loving Nigerians.
With the next nine matches of the regular season, set to decide the top three from each of the two groups to gain places in the season ending Super Six, the four relegation spots and battle for survival or against the drop. Hon. Elegbeleye is predicting an action packed conclusion of the league, hence the need to be ready and not let anything that could derail the healing process.
"Officiating was a major concern even before the start of the season. But with a new Referees Commiittee put in place by the NFF, we can testify that much improved performances by these elite Referees. As humans, we know they are not infallible, but we have been able to weed out a few bad ones, among them and serenity has largely been returned".
Both groups of the elite Referees had Classroom and Field Works in morning and night sessions, at the FIFA Goal Project, in Package B of the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja and the IMC top brass were on hand on the final day, to commend them for a job well done thus far, while charging them to brace up for the dounting task ahead, in the business end of the season.
The elite Referees including the FIFA badged Referees also had their Medical and Quarter Fitness Tests on the 23rd & 24th of March before being dispersed.
The IMC Chair also reiterated its earlier warnings to clubs against hooliganism and violence at match venues. www.ckdmedia.ng reports.
"We are glad that the season has been relatively peaceful, and the few clubs and individuals that were guilty of a few infractions were penalized comisurately. We will continue to beam our searchlight and continue to bring to book all those who refuse to embrace the new order, especially with so much to play for in the second stanza", Hon. Elegbeleye concluded.