1 GAME condemns attack on Referee, Stanley Eguma

1 GAME on Sunday condemned attacks on centre referee Pius Effiong and Dolphins coach Stanley Eguma after Saturday’s Rivers State Federations Cup final between Sharks F.C and Dolphins F.C held at the Sharks Stadium in Port-Harcourt in which Dolphins won 9-8 on penalties after regulation time ended 2-2 apiece.

“We have seen reports indicating that centre referee Pius Effiong and Dolphins Coach Stanley Eguma were attacked shortly after Dolphins victory over Sharks at the final of the Rivers State Federations Cup,” 1 GAME founder Philip Obaji said. “If true, we condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms.”

"We have reiterated many times there is no justification of the targeting of players and officials during and after matches and those responsible for these violent acts should be held accountable," Obaji said.

He added: “1 GAME’s objective is to put an end to fanaticism and football related violence in every area including match venues. By involving themselves in acts of hooliganism, these supporters have abused the game and brought it into disrepute.”

After Goalkeeper Udoo Ochiogu’s heroic last penalty save gave Dolphins the trophy, angry Sharks supporters descended on referee Effiong from Cross River State while in a separate incident, Dolphins manager, Stanley Eguma was attacked by hoodlums.

It is not the first time an incident of such nature has been reported from the Sharks Stadium. On Saturday, March 20, 2010 there was commotion at the same venue. Dolphins’ goalkeeper, Sunday Rotimi was allegedly harassed by Sharks fans after they claimed he refused to let in a goal as gift to the opponents.

1 GAME is a non-profit initiative calling on football enthusiasts to rise in support of its call for an end to fanaticism and vices in the game by signing up through its website www.play1game.org.

So far, more than One hundred thousand people have signed up to be part of 1 GAME including Jamaica’s Reggae Musician Shaggy, Hip-hop duo P-Square, Nigeria senior national football team coach Samson Siasia, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Aminu Maigari and some members of NFF Executive Committee.
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