The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) witnessed scenes of barbaric violence in Kano, Katsina and Bauchi today with referees and Kano Pillars coach Kadiri Ikhana worse for it.
Angry fans of Kano Pillars took the laws into their hands when they turned match officials into punching bags with one report saying the referees led by Segun Owosheyi from Lagos were “beaten like common criminals”.
Coach Kadiri Ikhana was also assaulted by the angry fans and police had to fire tear gas to disperse the irate fans.
“He was beaten to pulp and he lost a lot of blood,” reported an eye witness.
Two Akwa United defenders, Ofem Inah and Kodjo Dadzie, and goalkeeper trainer Moses Effiong were injured in the skirmishes.
Visiting team Akwa United, who committed “a grave sin” by beating home team Kano Pillars 1-0 inside the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, were detained at the match venue for close to an hour before they could leave.
They headed straight to Kaduna to spend the night there.
“The fans just went berserk,” reported Akwa United chairman Paul Bassey, who was most grateful to the police for protecting his team.
In Bauchi, a record-breaking crowd of over 15,000 spectators was at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium for the Northeastern derby between hosts Wikki Tourists and Gombe United.
The police were forced to fire tear gas to control the crowd and the game was held up for some minutes after they tried to force their way into the pitch.
Wikki won 3-1.
In Katsina, a ball boy lost consciousness and was only revived in hospital after he was allegedly attacked by Enyimba’s Ghanaian goalkeeper Fatau Dauda after hosts Katsina United scored a late winner.
Dauda needed police protection from the pitch for his own safety.
The team bus of Enyimba was smashed by fans and in the process some officials suffered injuries.
MFM returned to the summit of the championship after a comfortable 3-0 win at home against fron runners El Kanemi Warriors with Super Eagles coach gernot Rohr in attendance.
They now have 33 points, a point more than Plateau United, who have a game in hand.