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Yemi Olanrewaju blames poor officiating for Enyimba’s defeat against Kwara United



By Wale Mustapha

Yemi Olanrewaju, the stand-in Head Coach of Enyimba FC, attributed his team’s 2-1 loss to Kwara United to substandard officiating in their Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) encounter on Sunday.

The match, held in Ilorin for Matchday 27, was marred by controversial officiating, with a total of three red cards and nine yellow cards issued during the game. Emmanuel Ogbole’s brace for Kwara United, sandwiched by Ikenna Cooper’s goal, secured the victory despite Enyimba’s efforts.

Olanrewaju expressed his frustration with the officiating, particularly in the second half, stating that unnecessary whistle blows disrupted the flow of the game and affected the players’ performance.

“The first half was okay as the referee was in good control of the match, but in the second half, everything changed,” Olanrewaju remarked. “It was obvious that there was pressure on him, and everyone was all over him, which resulted in nine yellow cards and three red cards, including myself.”

He emphasized that both teams competed well and that the physical nature of the game was expected. However, he criticized the referee for overly restrictive officiating, which he believed hindered the players from giving their best.

Olanrewaju acknowledged Kwara United’s strong performance and commended his former club, expressing his satisfaction at facing them as a coach. Despite the disappointment of the loss, he remained optimistic and focused on the next match.

“This is the first red card we have had this season, and for me, it is the first in my career. But it is what it is; the game is gone, onto the next one,” Olanrewaju concluded.

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