The 2016/17 Nigeria Professional Football League season opened on a wrong footing as the game between Kano Pillars and FC IfeanyiUbah in Kano was abandoned after a protest by the visiting team.
Pillars were up 1-0 courtesy of goal scored by Gambo Mohammed on the half hour mark before the incident.
Ifeanyi Ubah protested when they appeared to have drawn level from a free kick just before the end of the first half. And about five minutes after the restart, the Nnewi club walked out on the game allegedly on an order from a top club official. Ajayi had just before then sent an IfeanyiUbah official into the stands for unsportsmanly behaviour.
“This is a disgrace,” lamented Pillars coach Kadiri Ikhana.
“But we must commend the Kano fans that they did not allow hell to break loose as a result of Ifeanyi Ubah abandoning this game.”
The first half ended on a controversial note with the centre referee Folusho Ajayi disallowing what IfeanyiUbah insisted was a legitimate goal.
The encounter started on a blistering note with the two teams keen to stamp their authority.
Kano Governor Ganduje, chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) Shehu Dikko as well as several NFF executives were all at the game played inside packed Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.