General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation, Dr Mohammed Sanusi has charged all 29 Nigerian referees who on Wednesday received their badges to officiate in FIFA matches this year to take to heart the fine ethos of fairness, firmness and efficiency in their various assignments.
“I congratulate you all on this very special and important day in your career. I want to admonish you to take to heart the ethos of fairness, firmness and efficiency in every task you are assigned. You are ambassadors of our great country at any match venue and you must always have that at the back of your minds.
“The new NFF administration is determined to write a new positive story about Nigeria referees and refereeing. It is always painful to see Nigeria Clubs crashing out of continental competitions so early. Let us tell ourselves the truth; these happen because some of those teams that qualify to represent us in those competitions are somewhat aided one way or the other and not that they merit their qualification. They get exposed when they get to the continental stage.”
While commending the level of officiating so far in the ongoing Nigeria Premier Football League, Sanusi assured that those who have been suspended and summoned for questioning will face stiff sanctions if found culpable.
“It is sad that championship after continental championship, we hardly get to see Nigeria referees listed for action. It makes me unhappy because I know we have some of the best referees in Africa, if not the entire world. You just need to up your game, stay on the right lane, apply the rules strictly and shun undue influences and attempts at compromising your professional integrity.”
Also at the occasion were President of the Nigeria Referees Association, Otunba Tade Azeez; Chairman of the Referees Committee, Mrs Faith Irabor; Vice Chairman of the Referees Committee, Rabiu Gusau; Members of the Referees Committee, Kabiyesi James Odeniran, C. C. Chukwujekwu, Bello Abubakar, Abraham Zakowi and Furo Waziri and; Secretary of the Referees Committee, Sani Zubairu.
There were also Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications); Ruth David (Director of Competitions) and; Mohammed Ameenu (Special Assistant to GS).
FIFA Referees: Ogabor Joseph; Nurudeen Abubakr; Quadri Adebimpe; Kassim Abdulsalam; Abdullahi Abubakar; Bashir Salihu; Grema Mohammed
FIFA Assistant Referees: Samuel Pwadutakam; Usman Abdulmajeed; Efosa Igudia Celestine; Hope Igho; Tejiri Digbori; Muhammed Yakubu; Tijjani Ahmad
FIFA Beach Soccer Referees: Jelili Ogunmuyiwa; Fawole Olawale; Olayinka Olajide; Rabiu Ahmad
FIFA Futsal Referees: Bello Zuru Alhassan; Musa Dung Davou; Paul Umuago; Ukah Ndubuisi
FIFA Women Referees: Ndidi Patience; Hannah Eliagwu; Olufunmilayo Alaba; Yemisi Akintoye
FIFA Women Assistant Referees: Mfon Friday Akpan; Beauty Kabenda Terah; Abibat Yusuf
PHOTO: The newly-badged referees pose with the dignitaries led by Dr Sanusi