FIFA Again Snubs Nigerian Refs | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FIFA Again Snubs Nigerian Refs

Posted: May 3, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Peter Edema

Lagos – Hopes of any Nigerian referee breaking into the global stage suffered a serious setback on Monday as FIFA again refused to give them any mention in its appointment of referees for the Rio Olympics football men and women events.

The snub became more pronounced against the backdrop that no Nigerian referee has ever officiated at the global stage, even at the World Cup.

So when FIFA Referees Committee appointed 88 match officials from over 40 countries for the Rio Olympics football event without a Nigerian, and named officials from countries such as Malawi, Sudan and Senegal, means that Nigerian referees are below standard.

In Africa, for the women’s tournament, FIFA appointed Gladys Lengwe from Zambia as the only referee alongside two assistant referees, Bernadettar Kwimbira (Malawi) and Slouad Oulhaj (Morocco).

For the men’s event, the referees from Africa are Malang Diedhiou (Senegal) and Ghead Grisha (Egypt). The four Assistant Referees are the duo of Djibril Camara and El Hadji Malick Samba from Senegal, Redouane Achik (Morocco) and Waleed Ahmed from Sudan.

According to FIFA, the men’s competition will see 18 referees and 32 assistant referees officiate and at the women’s tournament, 14 referees and 24 assistant referees will be on duty. In both competitions, all six FIFA Confederations were represented.

“The Rio Olympics Football Tournament represents the first important step on the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019 for match officials,” FIFA said.

The appointed referees, FIFA said, were among those who took part in two seminars it organised in Doha, Qatar and Miami, Florida respectively in April.