Highly-rated FIFA-badged referee Ferdinand Udoh has told www.busybuddiesng.com injury denied him a place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
Last week, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released a list of 56 match officials (27 center referees and 29 assistant referees) for the 2019 AFCON with just one Nigerian assistant referee, Abel Baba considered for the continental showpiece.
But Udoh, a CAF Elite-A referee, who is undergoing treatment on an ankle injury he sustained prior to the 2018 CHAN tournament in Morocco, stated he would have made the cut if he was fit.
The 32-year-old also informed that the injury will ultimately deny him participation at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland which will be staged from 23 May to 15 June.
“I had an injury last year that has kept me out of the game for like one year,” Udoh told www.busybuddiesng.com in a telephone conversation. “If I didn’t have the injury, I would have been on that list, and I would have been in Poland for the under-20 World Cup too.
“At the time the injury came, I was rated among the best 10 referees in Africa. So, there’s nothing going to stop me from being on the list. So, I have not had the injury, I would have been on the list, and I would have made it to the final day. And I would have been in Poland for the under-20 World Cup.
“It’s painful, but I’m not regretting anything. At God’s own time, He makes everything beautiful. I’ve worked so hard to get to this level, and just when I’m climbing to the top, becoming one of the best in Africa, I was hit by injury.”
Ferdinand Udoh secured his FIFA badge in 2013, and has officiated several CAF Champions League games, AFCON and World Cup qualifiers, as well as CAF U-17 AFCON tournaments.