Remo Stars management has confirmed that the Nigeria Police Force has started a manhunt for the intruder who attacked centre referee, Bethel Nwanesi and his assistants after they forced visiting Bendel Insurance to a 1-1 draw in one of the Nigeria Professional Football League matchday 3 games decided at the Gateway International Stadium, Sagamu, Ogun State.
Sportinglife.ng reports that Charles Omokaro had put the visitors ahead in the 54th minute before Victor Mbaoma leveled scores 1- 1 for the home side in the 76th. The stadium went wild in jubilation after Awazie Ekene appeared to have scored the winner, but the celebration was cut shot by the assistant referee, who raised the flag for an offside play. The decision did not go down well with the fans who vented their anger on the officials.
The Sky Blues Stars however condemn the incident, promising to deal with anyone found guilty.
“After the final whistle of the game which ended 1-1, an intruder gained access to the match officials and unfortunately one of the officials got injured.
“A manhunt has started immediately as the management of the club and the Nigeria Police Force Sagamu division are working closely to ensure that the intruder is brought to book to face the consequences of his actions. We totally regret and condemn this act as we don’t encourage violence in football.
“In the same vein of condemning this act we would also like to indicate that the center referee Bethel Nwanesi calls all through the game were questionable and in the 88th minute a good goal was scored, which would have been the winning goal, was ruled offside and disallowed by the referee which caused an uproar among the fans.
“This of course is no reason why anyone should get hurt, we have lost games at home in the past against Plateau United, Enyimba FC, MFM FC, Rivers United without witnessing such violence.
“We also want to make a staunch warming to supporters or individuals who come with the intention of disrupting or causing violence in the stadium as the club will severely deal with anyone found guilty of such behavior,” the club said in a statement.
Recalled that the League Management Company fined Plateau United a total sum of N5million and ordered them to play their next three home games in Ilorin, Kwara State, after match officials were attacked after the matchday One of the NPFL encounter with Ifeanyi Uba of Nnewi.