Abandoned Dolphin vs. Bayelsa United Match Raises Uncertainty over Replay Modalities.

Dolphins FC Players.
Dolphins FC Players.

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match between Dolphin and Bayelsa United on Saturday was abandoned in the 81st minute due as the water-logged Liberation Stadium pitch made it difficult for players to knock the ball around.

The Port Harcourt sides were in control of the game with two second half goals from Ifeanyi Egwim and Osita Echendu in the space of nine minute, unfortunately the rain which had been pouring all afternoon halted play with 9 minutes left before injury time.

A consensus was reached to have the game replayed on Sunday by 4pm at the same venue, following consultations with officials of both clubs and the match referee.

But the two clubs failed to agree on the modalities of the Sunday replay with Dolphin insisting that the game commences from the 81st minute, while United wants the scores to be wiped clean.

“The rules are clear. When there is a stoppage of this nature, the game has to be replayed the next day and the scores will be wiped clean,” George Eteli, media officer of Bayelsa United told supersport.com. “We must begin afresh.”

Bayelsa United.
Bayelsa United.

Dolphins FC manager Dumbo Awanem, however, insists that the match will be continued from the 81st minute after claiming he had spoken with NPFL’s head of competitions.

“The rules are very clear. In a situation like this, only fifteen minutes of the game will be replayed and the scores will stand as they were the previous day,” Awanem said.

Dolphins are currently 9th in the NPFL standings with 25 points from 18 matches, while Bayelsa United are 3rd on the table with 29 points from 18 games.


  1. Problems like this will always arise when there are no clear cut rules on situations like this. Any responsible league board should set clear actions for any scenario in modern football (in and out of the pitch)