The Nigeria Football Federation has issued a stern warning to its members and particularly match officials to guard against acts and practices that could be seen to encourage match fixing and match manipulation in any way or form in the coming football season.
With the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League season due to kick off on Sunday, the NFF said it encourages match officials and other workers in football to recognise, resist and report any act, practice or tendency that may appear, remotely or directly, to seek to compromise the integrity of any given football match at any point in time.
Okey Obi, Head of the NFF Integrity Unit, told thenff.com: “It is important that NFF members, including members of Congress, stakeholders, referees, match commissioners and referee assessors, and, indeed everyone involved in the game, resist and report all acts that may seek to compromise the integrity of a game. The NFF will monitor actions and inaction within the perspectives of errors in decisions, which could be classified as: 1) Error of Judgment 2) Error of Knowledge and 3) Deliberate Act.
“The NFF is on a wavelength of zero tolerance for match fixing and match manipulation in any way. The Federation will come down hard on anyone involved in any practice that may seek to bring the game to disrepute.”
Obi assured that the federation would not hesitate to visit acts and practices that are capable of bringing the game to disrepute with the heaviest sanctions possible, no matter whose ox is gored.
He said: “The eyes of FIFA and CAF are now very, very sharp with regards to match fixing and match manipulation matters. Apart from that, the various security agencies in the land are now taking keen interest in what happens during football matches, a development the NFF is happy about. The NFF Integrity Unit is now working in conjunction with the security agencies to monitor all matches.
“It will no longer be business as usual. Members of NFF, especially match officials, are warned against going to match venues to front for teams.”