LMC has increased salaries of referees, says Owunmi 

The Technical Director of Rangers FC of Enugu, Christian Chukwu, has said that the introduction of secret match assessors by the League Management Company (LMC), to monitor referees at league venues, will go a long way in improving the standard of the Nigeria Football Professional League (NPFL). The league kicked off across various centres in Nigeria at the weekend.

Chukwu stated that bringing secret match assessors to monitor league matches would reduce the act of poor officiating by some referees in the NPFL. The ex-Super Eagles coach noted that one of the reasons the NPFL has not been getting the needed respect it deserves in recent times was because of the poor conduct and decisions made by some referees.

“I commend the management of the NPFL for involving secret match assessors to monitor games at league venues. I am happy for the introduction.”

If this process works out, it will go a long way in making corrupt referees do their job in the right way. Nigeria league has not been running so well due to poor officiating. It is embarrassing that this ugly act is also reflecting in world championships as Nigerian referees are hardly recognised to officiate international games by FIFA and CAF,” he said.

Chukwu revealed that Rangers FC has been prepared long ago for the league season. Thank God the league has kicked off. My players are ready. Although, we are playing our games at another venue base on the fact that our stadium is not ready yet. But that will not affect the team performance in any way.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the LMC, Davidson Owunmi, told The Guardian at the weekend, that salaries of referees that are officiating in NPFL has been increased to ensure all match officials deliver their duties diligently.

He revealed that LMC did not introduce secret match assessor to the NPFL to witch-hunt any referee. “Our goal is to maintain high level integrity in officiating in the Nigeria league. Video Assistance Referee (VAR) is used in the English Premier League (EPL), and that does not mean the referees in the EPL are not reliable. All we are doing is to improve the standard of the NPFL by involving secret match assessor,” Owunmi said.

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