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FIFA shuns Nigerian referees for 2023 Women’s World Cup

For the umpteenth time, FIFA has shunned Nigerian referees as the 2023 Women’s World Cup beckons. The football governing body yesterday released the list of…

For the umpteenth time, FIFA has shunned Nigerian referees as the 2023 Women’s World Cup beckons.

The football governing body yesterday released the list of officials that will officiate games during the tournament that will be held in Australia & New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, 2023

According to the list, there are 33 referees, 55 assistant referees and 19 video match officials (VMO) appointed for the mundial with no Nigerian listed.

It will be recalled that in recent years, FIFA has often shunned Nigerian referees from its tournaments.

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FIFA said the referees were appointed based on the officials’ quality and the performances delivered at FIFA tournaments as well as at other international and domestic competitions in recent years. For the first time in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, six female VMOs have also been selected.

“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected on-field match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide.

“We all remember the very successful FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France. The high standard of refereeing contributed significantly to that success. The aim for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 is to repeat that success and to convince again with excellent referees’ performances,” said the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina.

Kari Seitz, FIFA’s Head of Women Refereeing, stressed that the match officials will continue to receive all necessary support from FIFA, as their preparation is paramount. 

“With critical time lost due to the pandemic in preparation for the Women’s World Cup, we developed some new programmes to accelerate our referee development, such as our very effective Tracking & Support programme, where each referee candidate was assigned a FIFA coach who provided feedback on their matches each month,” she said.

In January and February, the selected match officials will participate in preparatory seminars (in Doha and Montevideo), reviewing and analysing video clips of real match situations and taking part in practical training sessions with players, which will be filmed to enable participants to receive instant feedback from instructors.