Twenty-nine members of Nigeria (Football) Referees Association, (NRA) have been accredited with FIFA badges for the 2019 football season in a ceremony held in Kano on Monday, 14 January.
The football governing body released its annual list of official referees for international tournaments with Nigerian referees featured in three categories namely: 11-Aside football, Men Futsal and Beach Soccer.
In 11-Aside football, FIFA has recognized twenty-one officials from Nigeria comprising seven male referees, seven male assistant referees, three female referees, and four female assistant referees. The country will also have four male referees each for Men Futsal and Beach Soccer.
Among the referees that were listed by the football world governing body, were two new entrants into the FIFA 11-Aside cadre; 25-year-old Centre Referee Nurudeen Abubakar from the Bauchi State Referees Council and Assistant Referee (Women) Abibatu Yusuf Adunni of the Rivers State Referees Council.
Born on the 10th of December 1993, Nurudeen who took charge of the 2018/2019 NPFL season opening match between Kwara United and Sunshine Stars in Ilorin attended primary and post-primary school in Bauchi. He holds a National Diploma in Public Administration from the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi and a B.sc in Human Resources Management from the ISFOP Benin University in Benin Republic. He is currently a member of the National Youth Service Corps.
Police Inspector Abibatu Yusuf Adunni was born in Okigwe, Imo State to parents of Ondo state extraction and is an athlete with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). She holds a degree in Mass Communication from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, a PGD in Social Science and an M.sc in Criminology and Police Science from the University of Port Harcourt. She obtained her Grade One referee certification in 2013.
Other new entrants into the FIFA cadre are Kasim Abdusalam of Zamfara Council (Futsal) and Rabiu Ahmad of the Kano State Referees council (Beach Soccer).
Addressing the assembled members of the NRA at the event which had the 1st Vice President of the NFF Seyi Akinwunmi in attendance alongside other members of the NFF Executive Committee, President of the NRA Tade Azeez enjoined the referees to be exemplary in discharging their functions at all times.
Mr. Azeez tasked the FIFA accredited referees with ensuring compliance with the demands of CAF and FIFA including having a robust understanding of the Laws of the Game and ensuring sound physical and mental wellbeing to enable them to maintain their positions with the world football governing body.
The president of the NRA also disclosed the readiness of the association to protect and fight for the interests of its members in relation to events on the opening day of the 2018/2019 NPFL season when a referee was assaulted after home fans deemed him unhelpful to their team’s quest of getting an opening day home victory in the match between Plateau United and FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
“Don’t be disturbed by the Jos incident. We are waiting for the appropriate authorities to make pronouncements before any action. Do your best for our game to grow. Apply best practices in the course of discharging your duties and don’t succumb to the antics of players and clubs to derail the good officiating system we have started for the season” Mr. Azeez said.
FIFA Approved List of Nigerian Referees for the 2019 Football Season
ADEBIMPE Quadri Ololade
OGABOR Joseph Odey
ASSISTANT REFEREE (MALE)
IGUDIA Efosa Celestine
OGWU Peter Eigege
MADU Ndidi Patience
ASSISTANT REFEREE (WOMEN)
FUTSAL REFEREE (MALE)
MUSA Dung Davou
BEACH SOCCER REFEREE (MALE)
FAWOLE Olawale Adeolu