Uyo-based NPFL outfit and 2018/2019 NNL champions, Dakkada FC, have petitioned the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to demand that their disputed matchday thirty-one fixture away to Kano Pillars which was played at Sani Abacha stadium, Kano, on Thursday, June 23, be declared a draw and one point added to their tally for the season.

Pieces of video evidence emerged late Thursday evening of a goal scored by Dakkada’s Edidiong Ezekiel deep into stoppage time to level the scores at 1-1 after Yusuf Maigoro had given Pillars the lead in the first period but the goal did not reflect on the result of the match which has since been circulated as 1-0 in favour of Pillars.

One video evidence showed referee Hayatou from Kogi state pointing to the centre spot after the said goal had been scored while another video evidence showed Assistant Referee Olalekan from Ekiti state keeping his flag down as he ran along the sideline all through the lead-up to the said goal and also running back towards the centre line after the goal was scored with his flag still kept down confirming the legality and validity of the goal before he was physically assaulted with punches by the Chairman of Kano Pillars, Alhaji Surajo, who felt the assistant referee should have raised his flag for offside, as seen in a widely-circulated video on social media.

The match officials reportedly sent in a second match report which put the result of the match at 1-1 and indicated that their initial match report was written under duress as officials of Kano Pillars had to vet their report before it was sent to the LMC while Dakkada have expressed displeasure that the decisions recently relayed by the LMC on the matter neither touched on the result of the match nor the awarding of damages for their camera which was damaged by irate fans of Kano Pillars after the goal was scored.

The Chosen Ones cited an instance in the 2013/2014 NPL season where three points were later awarded to Dolphins in their match away to Plateau United in Jos where Dolphins scored a legitimate goal but the match officials were intimidated into ruling it out and recording a result of 0-0 in their initial match report which they obliged for their safety. They would later send in a second match report which put the result of the said match at 0-1 in favour of Dolphins who were then awarded the three points for their victory.

“The match never restarted after Dakkada scored their goal, the referee pointed to the centre spot and his assistant ran back towards the centre line with his flag kept down”. “After the Chairman of Kano Pillars ran down from where he was seated in the stands and punched the assistant referee, the referee came to the sideline and was in consultation with his assistant and match commissioner for some time before the referee stood there and blew the final whistle”. “If they claim that the goal was ruled out for offside, why then did Alhaji Surajo attack the assistant referee?”, an eye witness said.

Meanwhile Dakkada have officially written a letter of complaint to the LMC demanding clarity as regards its decisions on the disputed match and have also indicated their readiness to follow up the matter to the highest level if the need arises.

Kano Pillars will be guests to NPFL champions, Rivers United, while Dakkada will play hosts to Katsina United in Uyo when matchday thirty-six gets underway this weekend.

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