Sharks FC of Port Harcourt abandoned their Match against hosts Nasarawa United FC on Sunday in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after a penalty was awarded against them in the 66th minute of their Day 36 fixture in the 2014/2015.
Referee Abubakar Ago made the penalty call after Afeez Aremu of Sharks FC seemed to have committed a foul against Ugochukwu Leonard of Nasarawa United in the penalty box in the 66th minute, even though the game was thrilling at that point, a decision which led to a second caution to Afeez Aremu leading to his dismissal.
This prompted the players and officials of Sharks to disrupt the game leaving the penalty area refusing to continue play.
This continued till the match was blown off by Ago who had waited for 15 minutes for Sharks players to return for the match to continue.
In an interview later on, Okey Kpareku, Sharks’ General Manager, said he was disappointed with the match’s officiating.
He expressed wonder if the NPFL had really improved in terms of organisation.
“I feel so bad about the way we have our games organised and officiated. The League management should do its best to put in officials, put in a lot of human resources into the system.
“It is just for us to appreciate what they have done and give a good outing, an outing that is commendable. Instead of us (clubs) to do that, we use our hands to spoil the system which is very bad.
“It is as if we don’t appreciate the LMC who are doing their best,” he said.
On Sharks’ next line of action, Kpareku said his team would wait for a final decision from the League Management Company (LMC).
“Sharks players were on the pitch till after the centre referee blew the final whistle.
“My players saw what happened and it is too obvious. We know the referee has the final say. They were there on the pitch and they were there until the 15th minute then the referee called off the game.
“So, we will wait for the LMC and look forward to whatever they will say and, probably, what the authorities concerned will do. We will now begin to move from there,’’ he said.
Festus Allen, Sharks’ Head Coach, said the way referee Ago awarded the penalty kick and issued a red card to Aremu prompted his team to abandon the match.
“I cannot say much because I am short of words. You saw what led to the protest and the way we were given red card,’’ he said.
The match’s first goal was scored in the third minute from the penalty kick spot by Segun Sogbeso of Nasarawa United after a foul on Anyu Ishaya.
In the 27th minute, Nasarawa United made it 2-0 through Ugochukwu Leonard who received a pass from Ishaya to score from close range.
In spite of the two goals, Sharks FC did not relent and reduced the tally in the 33rd minute via a penalty kick by Aremu after a foul on Christian Pyagbara.
After the break, Sharks drew level, scoring in the 58th minute through Aremu who capitalised on poor defending to blast home from close range.