By Andah John with agency report
The much anticipated opening game of the 2016/17 Nigeria Professional Football League season between hosts Kano Pillars and FC Ifeanyiubah ended abruptly as the visiting side walked out of the game, alleging bias officiating.
Pillars were leading 1-0 before the Anambra side abandoned the game ten minutes into the second-half.
The match at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano was played before the usual large crowd of spectators, but this did not deter the visiting side from disrupting the game.
The development followed the sending-off of one of the visiting side’s officials by referee Foluso Ajayi.
After consulting with other officials, the referee decided to call off the match.
Efforts to speak later on with the match officials on the issue proved abortive.
However, while speaking after the game, Pillars’ coach Kadiri Ikhana said he was happy with what his team took away from the match.
“It was a good game of football and the result I would say was satisfactory.
“It is just the first game of the competition, so it was nice seeing the players perform as well as they did.” he said.
Speaking on the visiting side’s action, Ikhana described it “as shameful and disgracing” to Nigerian football.
He also called on the appropriate authorities to take necessary action to deter others from doing so too.
Kano Pillars’ team captain, Gambo Muhammad, scored the game’s only goal in the 30th minute.
The match was watched by the State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, and members of the State Executive Council.
Other dignitaries at the match included the Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, and the Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf.