By Victor Okoye
World football governing body, FIFA, has retained Nigeria’s Linus Mba as its Technical Adviser in Africa for Refereeing.
Mba is one of the finest ‘Gentlemen of the Whistle’ to have come out of Nigeria.
The former FIFA referee is also the NFF Consultant on Refereeing and one of only two Africans retained in that position.
The other is the former Tunisian FIFA referee, Neiji Jouini.
Both men have been involved in FIFA development activities for close to two decades now.
Mba had been a member of the CAF Referees Committee for 10 years and had continued to serve as Referee Instructor for FIFA and CAF.
He had trained referees in virtually all English –speaking National Associations on the African continent.
Mba also serves as Referee Assessor in top grade FIFA World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches and is involved in general referee instruction programmes for CAF.
Jouini has a long –term contract with the Qatar Football Association and works for CAF during a number of championships.
Both men are in the company of the likes of Pierluigi Collina (Italy), Barry Neale (England); Batta Marc (France), Vicar Donald (Scotland) and David Elleray (England) as FIFA Technical Advisers.
The world body works through three Referees Development Officers in Africa–Carlos Henriques (South Africa), El Shenawy (Egypt) and Megassa Sidi Bekaye (Mali).