- Published on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 12:08
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By Uchenna Iyoke
Towards sustaining the friendly atmosphere that prevailed at the Sani Abacha Stadium last season, the supporters Club of Kano Pillars recently organized an enlightenment campaign for fans and other stakeholders of the club as they prepare to play hosts to the official kick-off fixture of the 2016/17 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
Sani Abacha Stadium, according to stats from the last season recorded the highest average turn-out of fans and while the season was largely incident free, the club was fined for crowd restiveness and ordered to organise a session on good conduct for their supporters.
Last Saturday, a good number of the Masu Gida faithful gathered at the Kano Pillars stadium to participate in the awareness programme which was aimed at avoiding the isolated disturbance of last season. The event was anchored by Mallam Nasiru Ibrahim, the chairman of Kano State Referees' Council and also featured a novelty football match between two academy sides which served as simulation of real match situation.
The programme sought to provide fans education on rules of the game and interpretation of referees' decisions. Nasiru explained calls for infringement as the two academy sides played. In the course of the novelty match, the game was usually halted each time the whistle was blown by the referee and detailed explanation was provided the fans for the call made.
He supplemented the on-field tutorials by reading extracts from existing and new laws of the game, citing reasons the fans should be law-abiding and embrace the spirit of fair play.
"Football is a round leather game played between two teams, but it goes a long way to unite people from different races, religions, culture etc. We must understand the do's and don't's of the game for us to be good ambassadors," stated Nasiru.
He also emphasized on why the fans must desist from encroaching on the field of play, pelting of match officials and visiting teams with objects such as sachet water among others and other forms of crowd trouble. The referee advised the Pillars' followers to avoid any attempt at such unruly behaviours. He said "no team had ever been successful by means of violence but would always face the possible outcome of bringing the game to disrepute which ultimately ruins the chances of achieving the desired result in the league."
Chairman of the Pillars supporters club, Bashir Idris Mu'azu, stated that the scheme is an enlightenment campaign geared at educating every fan of the club to abide by the rules of the game. "We designed this awareness session so that our people can be in the know and avert every form of misconduct before, during and after every match. This will go a along way to stabilize the good image we have been trying to parade as a reputable club," Mu'azu said.
The enlightenment programme which lasted for about two hours was graced by the chairman of the Kano State Sports Commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadimma, Chairman Kano Pillars board Tukur Babangida, Bashir Idris Mu'azu (chairman supporters club), Kano referees association led by Nasiru Ibrahim and a large number of soccer loving fans in the state.
Kano Pillars have won the Nigerian top-flight four times and are adjudged to have the largest fan base in the country in terms of matchday attendance.
The Sai Masu Gida players are currently in Kaduna preparing for the new season. They start their campaign with a home fixture against FC Ifeanyiubah on Saturday at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
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