Nigerian football referees have for the umpteenth time missed out on selection for a major international competition, following their absence from the roster of arbiters for this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.
In spite of the selection of 12 officials from Africa for the competition in Poland, no Nigerian is named on the list released Tuesday by FIFA Referees Committee.
In total, the committee has selected 27 referees and 42 assistant referees for the forthcoming championship, with 21 video assistant refs (VARs) also appointed, and other African countries hold sway in all sectors.
The centre referees selected from Africa are Ghorbal Mustapha from Algeria, Ndiaye Maguette from Senegal and Ngambo Ndala from Congo DR, while the assistant referees are Ahmed Kamel Mahmoud from Egypt, Gourari Mokane from Algeria and Noupue Elvis from Cameroon.
Other assistant refs from Africa are Tiama Seydou from Burkina Faso, Safari Olivier from Congo DR and Amaldine Soulaimane from Comoros, with the video assistant referees being Gassama Bakary from Gambia, Tessema Bamlak from Ethiopia and Grisha Ghead from Egypt.
A statement from the global soccer body reads in part: “Overseen by the FIFA Refereeing Subdivision, the officials’ preparations for this important youth competition will focus on a wide range of topics.
“Such as their reading of the game and football understanding, teamwork and the importance of obtaining the best position or angle – being in the right place at the right time – to make the correct decision.
“All of these aspects reflect the FIFA Refereeing philosophy and are key to the officials’ performance, and as such, they are vital in order to achieve consistency and uniformity at such a high level of the game.
“The VARs will play a supporting role along with the assistant referees and the fourth official, but the referee will continue to take the first as well as the final decision on the field of play.
“The FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 will take place in the cities of Bielsko-Biała, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia, Lublin, Łódź and Tychy between 23 May and 15 June 2019. The final will be played in Łódź on 15 June.”