Kano Pillars have blamed bias assistant referee Abel Baba for their Federation Cup exit after losing 2-1 to Gateway United in a Federation Cup round of 64 match played in Lokoja.
In that game, the reigning Nigeria Premier League kings saw their 85thminute goal ruled for an offside.
Speaking to Goal, media officer of Kano Pillars Idris Malikawa admitted defeat to the Gateway but recounted their poor officiating experience.
“We lost gallantly not minding the fact that our boys did everything they could to win the match,” Malikawa told Goal.
“I don’t like talking about match referees or officiating but I can categorically tell you the assistant referee one Abel Baba cost us the defeat.
“Hassan scored a late goal but we were surprised that Baba ruled it for an offside seconds after the centre referee had already awarded the goal.
“This is not the first time his decision has cost us. Baba was the referee in charge of our game against Enyimba FC in Aba two years ago. We were in front by 2-1 before he awarded a penalty to the Peoples Elephant instead of an indirect free for the equalizer.
“Again, we scored a goal and he disallowed it against Gateway United,” Malikawa concluded.
Kano Pillars’ hope of playing in the continental competition has been shrinked to finishing in the top two of the Nigeria Premier League at the end of the season.