NSF: Protest Rocks Boxing Event Over Alleged Wrong Decision
Proceedings at a boxing event of the ongoing 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) in Asaba were on Tuesday suspended for over two hours.
This was as a result of a protest which erupted after a bout between Ondo and Oyo state athletes.
The referees and judges had awarded the match to Oyo state but the passionate crowd felt the result was not a true reflection of what happened in the ring.
This led to a protest where chairs and pebbles were thrown into the ring with the atmosphere hotly charged.
The timely intervention of security personnel at the scene however saved the situation from degenerating with nobody sustaining any injury.
Moses Osifo, Coach of the Ondo boxing team, claimed his athlete won in all the bout’s rounds and wondered why the match would be awarded to the Oyo state boxer.
Osifo said the reaction was an expression of bottled-up anger among coaches, athletes and lovers of boxing over poor judgment by judges and referees.
He said awarding matches to underserving teams and asking people not to protest was no longer acceptable as it was killing the sport in Nigeria.
The coach said his protest was genuine and clear to everyone, and he went on to dismiss any threat to suspend him.
“They cannot suspend me because my protest is genuine. Even if they do, we will appeal and people will see the type of decision they are making,” he said.
In a reaction also, Abdullahi Masha, the Referees Commissioner, said the decision of the judges were right and there was no need for violence.
Masha however said that human error could not be ruled out in rare cases.
He said the committee would still take a decision on the action to take against those behind the protest.
“It is all about the rush for gold medals. They want to take gold medals back, and that is why they are desperate. We don’t have this type of issues in championships,” Masha said.