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Errors: Sit up or be thrown in permanent cooler, NFF President warns Nigerian referees

The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau (MON) has warned that any Nigerian referee found wanting during a football match…

The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau (MON) has warned that any Nigerian referee found wanting during a football match will be punished accordingly.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja as 30 different referees were decorated with their FIFA badges to represent Nigeria this year, Gusau reiterated that a big sore point with the NFF and the Nigeria Football fraternity even as the Super Eagles excelled at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cote d’Ivoire (finishing second in the 24-nation championship) was the absence of any Nigerian arbiter of any cadre at the 30-day event.

He further disclosed that the Federation has opted to come up with stiffer sanctions for erring referees.

“To whom much is given, much is expected. We ensured that the NPFL improved indemnities at the beginning of the season, and I have also instructed the General Secretary to start the process of procuring the necessary gadgets for our referees. But anyone caught disgracing the uniform, the refereeing body and by extension Nigeria football, will be thrown into a permanent cooler. We want to see you people officiating at top continental championships and we will not sit idly by while some incorrigible ones destroy all that vision,” he said.

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He also charged Nigerian referees to make conscious, deliberate efforts to change the running narratives of sheer incompetence, flagrant disregard of the rules by some and blatant roguery by a few, through saying the truth to themselves and resolving to uphold their professional tenets while committing to decent conduct.

“The absence of any Nigerian referee of whatever cadre in Cote d’Ivoire remained ‘an elephant in the room’ for most of us that were in Cote d’Ivoire. It is a real shame that we didn’t even have an assistant referee. The CAF Head of Refereeing was quoted at some time saying Nigerian referees are good but they need only the best to handle matches at major tournaments. Are we happy about that?

“I receive complaints/videos about poor officiating in our League matches almost every week, and always forward these to the Referees Committee to see that we still have some bad eggs amongst us. Some of the decisions I see are simply inexplicable. You must resolve here and now to change your ways and change the narratives about Nigerian referees at home and abroad.”

A total of 30 individuals were decorated, including seven men referees, seven men assistant referees, four women referees, four women assistant referees, four beach soccer referees and four futsal referees.


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