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Gusau appeals to FIFA instructors to develop Nigerian referees for global tourneys

NIGERIA Football Federation president Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau has called on FIFA refereeing instructors to help raise the level of match officiating in the country so that the Nigerians will be regularly considered for continental and global assignments.

The FIFA instructors are in Nigeria for three refereeing programmes and they paid a visit to Gusau at the NFF head office in Abuja today.

Gusau appealed to the instructors from Zambia, Morocco, Mozambique and Djibouti to always find time, even outside regular instructional periods and sessions, to communicate with Nigerian referees with a view to supporting, encouraging and building them up to be among the very best in Africa.

“We have our teams regularly taking part in major competitions in Africa and the world, and it is always a painful thing seeing referees from other countries while we hardly get to see our own compatriots of the whistle,” Gusau said.

“We want you to take up this assignment beyond the regular instruction courses; you should endeavour to communicate with them all the time, encourage them, support them and give them tips that will keep improving them to get to the top.”

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, informed the instructors that Nigeria is one of very few countries who participate in almost all FIFA and CAF competitions, and is almost always qualifying for the major finals.

“The new NFF administration is determined to ensure that Nigerian referees also build capacity and grow to become part of the elites of the beautiful game,” he said.

The FIFA instructors, led by Gladys Lengwe from Zambia, include Houssein Ali Mohamed from Djibouti, Said Nouri from Morocco and Bento Navesse from Mozambique.

They are in Nigeria to oversee a Women’s Referees Course, a Futsal Referees Course and an Elite Men’s Referees Course, all happening between July 1 to July 15.

A total of 35 participants are taking part in the Women’s Referees Course, while 40 participants are in the Futsal Referees Course, and another 40 are involved in the Elite Men’s Referees Course.

Nigerian referee instructors Emmanuel Imiere, Felicia Okwugba, Saheed Ayeni, Ibrahim Fagge, Sarah Adebisi, Cecilia Ogbuji, Peter Edibe, Maryam Indo, Bola Sekiteri, Victor Ijereme, Dr. Aminu Shantali and Colonel Nicholas Achikasim are also involved in the instructional programme, as well as Rabiu Gusau, Abraham Zakowi, Bello Abubakar and Calistus Chukwudi Chukwujekwu who are members of the NFF Referees Committee.

The women referees’ course and futsal referees’ course, which began on Saturday, will end on Thursday, while the elite men referees’ course will be held from July 9 to July 15.

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