A Nigerian professional footballer, Yakubu Hassan has been ban indefinitely from playing football by the Nasarawa State Football Association for slapping a centre referee during a football match.
Hassan, who plays for ”Dubagari Football Club”, Lafia, a local team in Nasarawa state slapped a centre referee Kasimu Ahmadu during a football match with another local team, Winda Force Football Club on October 29 after he was cautioned for an infringement.
Speaking with the newsmen, Halidu Akwashiki, the Vice Chairman of the Nasarawa State Football Association confirmed the suspension, adding that it would serve as a deterrent to other players.
He said “The actions we took will serve as lessons to other players and clubs never to intimidate or instigate violence on match officials and to adhere strictly to the rules of the game.”
It was embarrassing for everyone, and I mean everyone including the fans because we all assumed this action is unheard of in this generation but to our surprise, we have been reminded on the dangers match officials face just for doing their jobs; it is sad,” he said.
He also added that aside from the suspension, the player was ordered to write an apology letter to the match officials and his club to pay a fine to the FA.
Also speaking on the situation, Mohammed Isa, Secretary-General, Nasarawa state Referees Council, expressed his disappointment over the incident and also suggested that a stiffer punishment should be handed to any player who violently attacks referees on the field of play.
“We feel bad on the issue and reported to the FA who have now taken action against the player and his team but despite that, we have called on the state FA to ensure that what happened does not repeat itself again,” he said.
Isa further revealed that the referee council will boycott any fixture if the player who assaulted the referee is selected in any upcoming games.
“I want to assure you that the player will never participate in any competition within this state again and if he is participating, the referees in the state shall not participate; that is our stand,” he said.