Good morning everyone.
It’s a new week, but don’t expect the celebrations in Enugu to slow down anytime soon. Frankly, no one is going to put a limit on their joy, and no one should. They marked the occasion yesterday too, demolishing El Kanemi 4-0 in front of a packed Cathedral. Talk about putting on a show.
If there was/is anything that poured a bit of cold water on festivities, it was the unfortunate injury to striker Ifeanyi Egwim. EL Kanemi goalkeeper Kazeem Yekeen came barreling out, and absolutely broke him in two.
It looked nasty, and indeed his Rangers teammates were blubbering on the pitch, apparently in concern for their teammate. A leg break is potentially career-ending, no one wants to see that sort of thing in our game
Football is a sport between two teams, but both sets of players have responsibilities to one another. We cannot judge motive, of course, seeing as the LMC does not have a mind reader on the payroll. We can only judge actions and results. It was reckless and dangerous play, with disregard to the well-being of a fellow professional. If that doesn’t merit a lengthy ban, I don’t know what does. It will serve to drive the message home.
Over in Jos, there was further shenanigans, but thankfully not of a similarly grievous variety. Heartland, apparently incensed at having what appeared to be a winner chalked off, walked off the pitch. For me, this is fairly simple. I think the LMC’s rules do not pose strict enough sanctions on teams that do this. Abandoning a game should come with very severe consequences – this is Nigeria’s top flight, not street football.
The referee is placed there for a reason, and it is to call proceedings. Feel free to disagree with his decisions, if you must, but you cannot on one hand accuse referees of incompetence and then straightaway choose to undermine them when they make a call. It’s a nonsense. Something about coming to equity with clean hands.
Who is to say they could not have played on and got another? Now, one of the league’s traditional clubs are relegated to the lower division. Was it really worth it? Someone didn’t think this through, apparently.
All in all, it was an interesting end to the league season. Particularly pleased to see that MFM made it in the end. Hopefully, the lessons they learnt will stand them in good stead next term. Shocking also to see Warri Wolves go down. A year ago, they pushed us all the way for the title, and even outscored us in the league. Four points we finished above them. A year on, and they’re relegated. What a way to go. Midtable, where we wound up eventually, feels a lot more like purgatory than hell right now, doesn’t it?