The Abia State Government has condemned the attack on Enyimba players in Jos, following their goalless draw against home side Plateau United in a Nigeria Professional Football League match on Sunday.
The attack left two Enyimba players – defender Dare Olatunji and goalkeeper Sabirou Bassa-Djeri injured.
Trouble started in the 90th minute, when Enyimba defender, Timothy Danladi, was issued a red card for a foul. As he exited the pitch, angry home fans, who defied the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to stay away from match venues, hurled objects at the player, with Enyimba coach; Fatai Osho’s pleas falling on deaf ears.
Fans of the home team were also angered after the centre referee waved play on following pleas from Plateau United players for a penalty.
The fans then invaded the pitch and ran after the match officials, but the security personnel on duty protected the referee and his assistants, who remained in the centre of the pitch.
Plateau United captain, Elisha Golbe, led his teammates to appeal to the fans, who remained adamant and pelted Enyimba players with objects as they made their way to the dressing room.
Our source said the referees were driven out of the stadium by security operatives, in Plateau United’s bus to avoid being identified and attacked by the irate fans.
While condemning the attack, the Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Kalu, called on NPFL officials to investigate the incident and punish the fans involved.
He said, “Abia State Government condemns in totality the barbaric attack on players of Enyimba FC in Jos following a goalless draw in a league game with Plateau United.
“We call on the authorities of the NPFL to fully investigate the incident and sanction those found culpable, as we will not condone any further attacks on our high-flying players and fans under any guise.
‘Failure to do the needful will compel us to consider all options, including stopping the team from playing at hostile stadiums where their lives are endangered.”