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Why FIFA, CAF Ignored Nigerian Referees For International Competitions – FIFA Instructor

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MICHAEL-AZEEZ OGUNSIJI, Abeokuta 

 

A FIFA instructor, Mrs. Olajumoke Adebisi Odeniran has attributed the non-inclusion of Nigerian Referees in CAF and FIFA-organized competitions to the non-usage of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Nigerian Football Leagues.

 

Olori Odeniran disclosed this on Monday in Abeokuta at the Southern Match Commissioners seminar organized by the Nigeria Football Federation.

 

The FIFA instructor emphasized that no Nigerian Referees would be called up for any international competitions without having training on the use of Video Assistant Referees.

 

She maintained that until the League Management Company (LMC) introduced the use of VAR in the nation’s football league, Nigerian Referees would continue to play second-fiddle and languish on the continent.

 

She said “FIFA will continue to ignore Nigerian Referees because we are not in tune with FIFA standards. For you to practice VAR, you need one year of planning because FIFA must inspect the stadium and train the referees on how to use VAR.

 

“So, when you don’t know how to use VAR, there is no way you will be considered to officiate in any VAR-inclined competitions. We should stop making noise about the non-selection of Nigerian Referees by FIFA because we are not there yet.”

 

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has sensitized no fewer than 287 Match Commissioners ahead of the new season of the 2023/24 Nigeria National League (NNL), Nationwide League One (NLO), and Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL).

 

The training held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital had participants from the 18 Southern states across the country for the 2023 NFF Match Commissioners seminar for the Southern province.

 

Declaring the event open, the Chairman of, NFF Match Commissioner Committee, Alhaji Babagana Kalli asserted that the football body would not condone any form of negligence from the match Commissioners.

 

Babagana emphasized the importance of ensuring that match Commissioners fulfill their roles effectively.

 

He expressed the Committee’s commitment to preventing any laxity in the performance of match Commissioners, citing past instances that have hindered their operations.

 

He stressed the need for each match Commissioner to maintain consciousness regarding their responsibilities and execute their assignments diligently. Cooperation among match Commissioners was encouraged to foster a unified approach.

 

“Each match Commissioner should be conscious of what of their activities and to carry the assignment assigned accordingly. The match Commissioners should always look to cooperate to avoid the diversity of the Committee.” Alhaji Babagana said.

 

Furthermore, Babagana emphasized the significance of proper attire, specifying that foreign club jerseys or Nigerian club jerseys are not to be worn during technical coordination meetings.

 

“Be in your suit or your blazer and during the technical coordination meeting, the committee will not allow any match commissioners to use foreign club jerseys or Nigerian club jerseys,” he stressed.

 

To ensure the effectiveness of match commissioning processes, Babagana emphasized the need for match Commissioners to be diligent and adhere to administrative and technical guidelines.

 

He noted that the Committee was prepared to impose sanctions on any Commissioners found negligent in their duties.

 

“The NFF’s message is clear: Match Commissioners must uphold their responsibilities, and negligence will not be tolerated.”

 

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