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Gusau charges FIFA instructors to help develop, upscale Nigerian referees

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau on Monday called on FIFA refereeing instructors who are in Nigeria for three refereeing programmes, to help improve the lot of Nigerian referees to a level that they would be regularly considered for major FIFA and CAF assignments.

Speaking in his office during a visit by the instructors, 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 on the African continent.

“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. 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,” Gusau told the FIFA team.

Earlier, 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.”

The FIFA instructors, led by Gladys Lengwe from Zambia, also includes Houssein Ali Mohamed from Djibouti, Said Nouri from Morocco and Bento Navesse from Mozambique. They are in Nigeria to superintend a Women Referees Course, a Futsal Referees Course and an Elite Men Referees Course, all happening between 1st – 15th July 2023.

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

Nigerian referee instructors Engineer 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, 6th July, while the elite men referees’ course will take centrestage between 9th – 15th July.

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