By: Moboluwarin Ogunleye and John Eriomala
The SEALS Cup quarter-final match between MBBS and Industrial and Production Engineering at the SUB Pitch on October 20th, 2022, ended under chaotic circumstances after fans and supporters stormed the pitch.
The match, which began at 5:08 PM, had been a tense affair for the most part with end-to-end football from both sides but a goal from MBBS’ number 10, Carbon, in the 40th minute of the game put them ahead of the Tech boys.
However, about five minutes to the end of the match, chaos broke out as fans and supporters from the IPE end of the pitch stormed the pitch to protest a questionable call from the referee.
There were physical altercations in the process with the referee getting harassed by the spectators. This intrusion went on for several minutes and eventually resulted in the game being called to an end.
IndyPress reached out to members of the SEALS Cup Organising Committee for a resolution of the outcome. The response, however, was that “It would be communicated later in a release”. This was similar to the response from a reporter from Made In Africa Sports in close contact with the committee.
The captain of the IPE team, Victor Kolawole spoke to Indy Press on why the spectators encroached the pitch.
“There were different penalty calls but the same linesman didn’t pick them out and it would have been a different situation if he raised his flag.
“We had different penalty calls but the referee didn’t bow. That was why fans from all over stormed the pitch. It was a game of that kind of emotion. Why did they use a student referee at all?”.
MBBS’ Coach, Mark Obeya, also commented, saying “The events at the end were unfortunate, and I think it was just a group of overzealous and frustrated fans who had seen that the match was practically over and the final result was in our favor.
“It was not in the spirit of sportsmanship and ruined what could have been a brilliant end to a beautiful game.”