Rangers’ in goalless draw with Rivers United, protest bias officiating

……….in Awka

Players and officials of Rangers International FC of Enugu on Saturday lost their cool after sharing points in their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Week 34 match with Rivers United.

In the match played at the Awka Township Stadium, Rangers first saw a 55th minute effort by Bala Akintunde from outside the penalty box ruled offside.

Rangers’ claim for a penalty kick awarded thereafter was ignored by the match officials.

The club’s players and officials, including team head coach Abdu Maikaba who refused to speak to newsmen, protested openly and alleged they were robbed of victory.

It took the intervention of security men at the stadium to calm frayed nerves, with the Enugu contingent almost getting physical with match officials.

“This is wickedness. We got a goal and they (match officials) canceled it. We also earned a penalty kick, which the referee ignored. This is pure robbery,” one of the players, who could not be immediately identified, shouted.

On his part, Stanley Eguma, the head coach of Rivers United, said they played well against Rangers in spite of not scoring a goal.

He said the result was good for the team and their quest to win the league, pointing out that it had not been easy for the team.

He said he would not comment on the officiating as it was the prerogative of referees to determine what happens on the pitch.

NAN reports that Rivers United remain on top of the NPFL table with 71 points from 21 wins, eight draws and five losses after 34 games.

Rangers are still in third place on the table with 52 points from 34 matches after 14 wins, 10 draws and 10 losses.