NPFL: Kano Pillars and Akwa United clash postponed due to pitch invasion
The Nigeria Professional Football League encounter between title contenders Kano Pillars and Akwa United on Sunday evening has been abandoned due to a pitch invasion after fans protested when the referee ruled out a late goal.
The tense encounter for supremacy in the Nigeria top flight was rescheduled after the visitors reportedly walked off the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in protest at the referee's decision to deny a late winner for Pillars, which would have taken them to the top of the table.
Unusually, considering the restriction on fans placed upon NPFL fixtures by the Nigeria Football Federation in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, supporters were in attendance during the contest.
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After a goalless first 45 minutes, drama ensued in the closing stages of the match after Kano Pillars had the ball in the back of the net, only for the referee to deem the effort offside.
The late goal ruled out by the hosts was followed by fans invading the pitch in complaint, and match officials and the Promise Keepers were forced to flee the dressing rooms for safety.
Following the long hiatus, Kano Pillars, through their social media platform, confirmed that the encounter will continue on Monday morning "by 08:00".
The League Management Company are yet to comment on the situation, or clarify whether either of the teams will be charged for the misconduct.
Kano Pillars headed into the match second on the NPFL table with 49 points after 27 matches, trailing Kennedy Boboye's men, who sit at the top of the standings, by one point.
Before Sunday's showdown, Akwa United coach Boboye called on the league management to televise the encounter, due to the stakes for both sides.
“It is a big match, the two teams are first and second so I expect the game to be on TV, " the former Super Eagles assistant coach said.
Elsewhere in the Nigerian top flight, Enyimba suffered a 3-1 loss against Katsina United with Super Eagles forward Anayo Iwuala scoring their only goal in the second half after conceding three goals in the first-half.
The People's Elephant are seventh on the league table, while Nasarawa United remain third after a 2-0 home win over Plateau United.
Second half goals from Chinedu Ohanachom and Silas Nwankwo guided the hosts to victory in Lafia on Sunday.