FIFA instructors rate Nigeria’s intermediate referees high, charge NFF to encourage them

Instructors from world football-ruling body, FIFA have expressed admiration for the high level of intellect, and adaptation capacity, of Nigeria’s intermediate referees who gathered for a five-day Member Association course in the Federal Capital, Abuja this week.


Tangawarima charged the NFF to monitor the young talents and do its best to equip them and fast-track their growth to elite level, saying: “In all honesty, I see some of these young talents as being more capable than some referees who presently officiate at Premier League level.”




In his remarks, President of NFF Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who was represented by the Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, thanked the instructors for their kind observation and the work they have done with the young talents over the five days of the course.




“We are grateful for the great work you have done with our young talents this time and we assure you that we will do our best to keep monitoring and encouraging them to fulfill their potential. More than yourselves, we are concerned about the lack of prominence of Nigerian referees in the international sphere. The Young Talents programme is one of the practical steps we have taken to address the malaise.




“Our commitment to improving the lot of Nigerian referees, and to prepare them adequately for the challenges of competing favourably with their colleagues from other countries for selection for major championships, remains unshaken.”




The 40 intermediate referees who participated in the program: Areweremi Ebimene, Mansur Mahmud Ngaski, Yusuf Gbemisola, Abba Aminu Mammaga, Ladan Aliyu, Bashir Mukhtar, Ibrahim Adams Boyi, Lawal Ridwan, Omada Emmanuel, Ajewole Emmanuel, Kwamga Eric Terhile, Chukwukerem Uchechukwu, Mohammed Ibrahim, Asakpi Oritsetsolayemi, Esther Joseph, Patience Azi Abi, Ehinola Aanu Paulina, Oluola Adeola Omowunmi, Adepete Michael, Suleyman Sani, Mohammed Tuta, Semiat Opeyemi Mustapha, Mudashiru Adamu, Stephanie Tse Henbar, Alohan, Osakpamwan, Isah Nagogo, Ayandike Uchenna, Ogunrombi Ruth, Andrew Aondolumu, Jokogbola Mubarak Olansile, Jamiu Hamisu, Onyekwere Rachael, Adie Emmanuel Unimike, Nsisong Linus, Umar Musa Anukpo, Al-Ameen Kabiru Yusuf, Mu’azu Habib Barma, Ebenezer Olayinka, Idowu Stephen Omolade




Meanwhile, another five-day program, this time for Nigeria’s elite referees, will commence also in Abuja on Sunday.


Referees for the elite course: Joseph Ogabor, Kassim Abdulsalam, Bashiru Salihu, Nurudeen Abubakar, Abdullahi Abubakar, Grema Mohammed Mustapha, Patrick John Egba, Samuel Pwadutakam, Igho Hope, Yakubu Muhammad, Ahmad Tijjani, Digbori Tejiri, Usman Olaide Abdulmajeed, Yemisi Akintoye, Hannah Elaigwu, Ndidi Madu Patience, Alaba Olufunmilayo, Akpan Friday Mfon, Beauty Kabenda Terah, Abibatu Iyadunni, Faith Agbons, Madaki Abdulmalik, Omotoye Tosin, Oscar Iwuamadu, Ibrahim Ahmed Lamido, Olalekan Daramola, Agboola Moruf, Komolafe Gbenga, Ismaila Rasheed, Mamuri Habu, Chilaka Igwe, Nwokocha Wisdom, Moses Alayemola, Akinwale Tomiwa, John Ojeleye, Scholastica, Zakari Mohammed, Faisal Inuwa, Mamu Umar, Bawa Buhari

At the closing ceremony of the program inside the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday, Felix Tangawarima, former FIFA referee from Zimbabwe, who is at the head of the FIFA team that also includes Mark Mzengo from Malawi, said: “I must say that we are highly impressed by these young men and women. They have performed well enough for us to now have great hope for the future of Nigerian refereeing. Ourselves at FIFA have, for many years now, been worried that with Nigeria’s large population and high capacity of the people, we don’t see your referees at the top table. Now, we can smile and expect great things from Nigeria.

 “These young referees have demonstrated high intellect, good knowledge and readiness to continue learning. We are very proud of their attitude and their humility. On my own, I am moved to offer spaces for them to perform at any subsequent COSAFA tournaments and will be responsible for their feeding, accommodation and allowances.”

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