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Referees Withdraw from National League Matches over Money

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The Nigeria Referees Association has ordered its members to boycott the Nigeria National League following the inability of the league body to pay them their indemnities for 11 weeks.

It was learnt that the NRA in a letter to its members on Thursday directed its members to withdraw from the league matches until the indemnities are paid.

NRA sources told a Punch correspondent that referees in the Nigerian second-tier league are paid between N40,000 and N50,000 while the assistant referees are paid between N30,000 and N35,000. The fourth officials get N15,000 and the assessors are paid up to N47,000 per match.

Spokesman for the NNL Kelechi Mejuobi, who confirmed the development, said the referees had been directed to stop officiating until they were paid.

The letter signed by Mejuobi read in part, “I am directed to inform all referees in the above named categories not to honour matches of the NNL until all outstanding indemnities are paid.

“Following the inability of the referees to receive indemnities for matches of about 11 weeks, the leadership of the NRA notified the Nigeria Football Federation and NNL organisers of the difficulties and challenges referees are facing without indemnities but only got assurances of payment which has not been affected till date.

“The leadership of the NRA also extended weeks of grace to enable the organisers to pay, but to no avail. Based on the non-payment, the NRA after due consideration of the implications, especially as it affects the mental psyche of appointed referees, has no option but to ask members not to honour any of the remaining NNL matches.”

The NRA chief said the body would only ask its members to return to the league immediately their entitlements are paid.

“The NNL has been notified and the decision was taken in the best interest of our members. However, immediately the right thing is done, the referees will return to officiate matches,” he said.

But the Executive Secretary of the NNL, Lawrence Katken, told a correspondent that he was not aware of the development.

He said, “I am not aware of any such decision by the referees. It is the first time I am hearing of it.”
Referees Withdraw from National League Matches over Money Referees Withdraw from National League Matches over Money Reviewed by on 9/22/2017 Rating: 5

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