Nigerian match officials
Only FIFA-badged referees will be listed to handle those games designated as ‘star matches’ when the Nigeria Premier League season kicks off on Saturday, so says Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji Muazu Suleyman.
Speaking at the badging of Nigerian FIFA referees for the Year 2012 in Abuja on Wednesday, Suleyman said this is with a view to exposing the referees in order for world football-governing body, FIFA and continental body, CAF to appreciate their quality and give them more important assignments.
A total of 27 Nigerian referees received FIFA badges in various categories at the event that took place at the National Institute for Sports, inside the National Stadium, Abuja.
Also speaking at the occasion, which began with a minute’s silence in honour of FIFA referee, Auwalu Barau who died exactly a month earlier, NFF President Aminu Maigari challenged the strive harder in their assignments in order to be accorded bigger duties by FIFA.
“There is no doubt that the Nigerian referee has proved himself time and again at international level in the past three decades. Yet, we just have to do more. Nigerian referees are not getting the kind of recognition that is deserving of the stature of Nigeria in international football.
“While the Nigeria Football Federation continues to make case for Nigerian referees to be assigned more international duties than they are presently considered for, it is also continent upon our referees to help this campaign with their conduct during the international games that they get.
“At every opportunity granted, Nigerian referees must ensure they comport themselves well and observe the rules of the game to the letter, which would in turn recommend them for higher responsibilities and also recommend other Nigerian referees for consideration for important assignments.
“This badge is sacrosanct. It is not to be defiled through improper conduct, graceless carriage, irresponsible behaviour and uncouth utterances. It is to be respected and treated with honour and deference,” said Maigari, whose speech was delivered by NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu.
BREAKDOWN OF 27 FIFA-BADGED REFS:
FIFA MEN REFEREES: Solomon Wokoma, Bunmi Ogunkolade, Ago Abubakar, Amao Joshua Opeyemi, Henry Ogunyamodi, Benjamin Odey
FIFA MEN ASSISTANT REFEREES: Peter Edibe, Sani Zubair, Robert Aundugh, Chukwudi Onumajuru, Abel Baba, Tunde Abidoye
FIFA WOMEN REFEREES: Felicia Okwugba, Folusho Ajayi, Uloma Nwogu
FIFA WOMEN ASSISTANT REFEREES: Grace Agudosi, Stella Eloji, Bosede Momoh, Agatha Iyorhe
FIFA BEACH SOCCER REFEREES: Jelili Ogunmuyiwa, Suleiman Jimeta, Mike Ushie, Sani Mohammed
FIFA FUTSAL REFEREES: Mark Agbo, Saheed Ayeni, Ibrahim Umar, Paul Umuago