FIFA evaluates Nigerian referees

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Nigerian referees get pass mark
Nigerian referees get pass mark

By Ikenna Osuoha

After many years of criticism, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has given the Nigerian football referees “a pat on the back” for their efforts aimed at developing the game of soccer.

Linus Mba, a retired FIFA referee and adviser to FIFA on referees who applauded the performance of the match officials on Saturday in Abuja on behalf of the world football governing body said there were lots of improvements in football officiating in Nigeria in the last few years.

Mba said Nigerian referees had displayed professionalism and superb officiating especially in the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

The FIFA representative told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he was happy and satisfied with the performance of referees so far in the professional league.

He said the current performance of referees was a signal of greater days ahead in officiating of matches in the country.

The retired referee urged the referees to continue to show maturity and impartiality in all matches to restore the confidence of the people.

“I saw very professional and unbiased officiating in the few weeks of the professional league.

“Our referees have proved that they can do it without pressure or intimidation; I am very happy with them,” he said.

Mba blamed interruption of officiating on “greed and impatience” of some clubs and called for total support for referees.

He however restated his belief on the professionalism of Nigerian referees which according to him “is worth commending’’.

NAN reports that Nigeria’s ongoing professional leagues started on Jan. 14, to end on Sept. 30. 

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