Lobi Stars Technical Director, Dominic Iorfa has challenged the League Management Company (LMC) to order Dolphins of Port Harcourt to present the match tape of their Week 16 NPFL tie decided at the Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina Ala to verify the authenticity of their alleged claim that they were denied from winning by dubious officiating.
Iorfa said Dolphins were only crying wolf over after their failed attempt to gain a revenge on Lobi at Katsina Ala after they lost twice to the Makurdi based team last season.
He recommended that appropriate sanctions should be meted out to Dolphins and the head coach Stanley Eguma if culpable for trying to ridicule the efforts of Nigerian referees.
Dolphins' coach Eguma had alleged that centre referee Aminu Mammga from Zamfara aided Lobi to victory but Iorfa in an interview with Goal admonished Eguma to rest his case and channel his energies at reappraising what led to Dolphins latest setback other than resorting to name calling and smearing the image of Lobi after their loss last Wednesday.
“I read in the newspapers and on the internet yesterday that Eguma said that he was robbed at Katsina Ala,” Iorfa told Goal.
“He (Eguma) said so many unprintable words about the Katsina Ala pitch. I am surprised that a person of Eguma's calibre could stoop so low to start talking like an amateur in a profession he has spent over 10 years.
"He lost a match and there was no any act of robbery during the match. The two penalties awarded to Lobi were good calls from the referee.
“The LMC should request for the video tape of the match from Dolphins and try to substantiate the claim made by Dolphins if they were actually robbed.
"If there is no case then the LMC should mete out appropriate sanction on him and Dolphins,” Iorfa continued.
Eguma should be cautioned
"Eguma is bringing the game into disrepute and should be cautioned from doing so to act as deterrent to others in the future."
On the condition of the pitch at the stadium at Katsina Ala: “He said so many things about the nature of the Katsina Ala Stadium but he would be first person and his club the first club also to complain of bad pitch after the visit of over seven clubs to this same pitch.
“None of them has said anything bad against the pitch. He is only looking for excuses having stayed here over three days (since Sunday) before the match billed for Wednesday because of their determination to avenge last season's defeat at all cost.
"He complained about poor officiating as if it was his first season in the premier league. I have been victim of bad officiating myself but I have never come out to discuss issues about officiating because I believe match officials are humans and have tendency to make mistake once in a while.
“There was no such bad officiating against Dolphins in the Wednesday's game. I can still stand by what I said even if a panel is set.
"I don't like joining issues with my colleagues in the media but Eguma and Dolphins went too far with their wrong assertions and because they have privilege to the media faster in the South-South than we in this part of the country, they always use it to their advantage.
"Gombe United scored a good goal when they visited Port Harcourt to play against Dolphins but despite the fact that it was shown live on television, the goal was disallowed and Dolphins later won through a disputed penalty too.
Referees are human and are liable to mistakes
“Gombe did not make much noise about it even though we all knew they were robbed. We don't want anybody to dent our image. I have been with Lobi for over 10 years. It is no joke and I will implore the LMC and other relevant bodies to do a review of the video tape of the game and make their own assessment of what actually transpired.
"Akwa United, ABS, Sharks, Rangers, Enyimba, Warri Wolves and Kwara United have all come here and none of them complained about the pitch, so why Dolphins?
"We have lost points at home and heaven did not fall. Enyimba came here and held us and Kwara United defeated us at home but we didn't kill them. They should stop Dolphins now before they further dent the image of the league.
"We were in Gombe United where we almost won and at the end of it all our two buses were vandalised among other valuables we lost in the process. I never made exaggerated remarks about it.
"The referee was even lenient because it took over 10 minutes before Eguma could leave the technical area after he was sent off. They wasted over five minutes when the first penalty was issued and they did a similar thing when the second was given. It was all these I think the referee considered before adding 7 minutes to the regulation time but they still complained."
Iorfa nonetheless praised the centre referee, Aminu Mammga from Zamfara for the disputed game and other Nigerian referees for their part in upholding the tenets of the profession especially this season.
"I have good words for referees this season because they have improved over last season and whoever that thinks otherwise should come out with sufficient proof,” h concluded.
Goal can report that two penalty kicks were awarded the home team but the second awarded in stoppage time was converted by Lobi's goalkeeper, Terkaa Melai after the initial effort by Lobi's Chimaobi Nwaogu in the 68th minute was caught by Dolphins' goalkeeper, Austin Brown.Lobi are 15th on the log with 21 points from 16 games and they welcome El Kanemi Warriors to the same Akume Atongo Stadium in Katsina Ala this Sunday in a Week 17 encounter.