Team Rivers ready to protest officiating in Dambe bout

April 12, 2021
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Team Rivers say they will protest what they have seen as poor officiating in their 65kg bout in Dambe at the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the quarter-final fight between Michael Olayemi of Rivers and Hassan Yusuf of Bauchi state on Sunday ended in favour of Yusuf.

It was declared a knock-out in the second round by the umpire.

Dissatisfied with the official result, Emmanuel Ogolo, Secretary of Rivers State Sports Council, said his team would protest the decision.

Dambe is a martial art in which competitors in a typical match aim to subdue each other into total submission mostly within three rounds.

It often results in serious bodily injuries for the challengers such as broken jaws and ribs.

“I rate the officiating as being unfair. Almost all the spectators here and even some of the officials saw what happened, but it’s like what they are doing here is favouritism, which is not right.

“A fighter cannot be fighting with his hand and somebody is using his leg to cross over and make him fall. It is wrong.

“I have not experienced that before and that is why we are making a protest in this game. It is either the game is canceled or declared a rematch,” he said.

Reminded of the protest fee of N20,000, Ogolo said his team resolved to protest the referee’s decision and were ready for the consequences.

“We are ready for that, anything that will make us succeed in this particular game, we will do it.”

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