Russia 2018: FIFA shuns Nigerian referees
There will be no Nigerian referee at the FIFA 2018 World cup in Russia.
The World football governing body yesterday released a list of 36 centre referees and 63 assistant referees for the mundial billed for June this year.
According to FIFA, the choice of match officials selected to officiate at the finals was based on each referee’s skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams.
African countries like South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia were represented in the list but none from Nigeria.
It is worth noting that the four other countries representing Africa at the tournament – Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt- had been invited to officiate at the World Cup.
Gambian,Angolan, Sudanese and Burundian referees and assistant referees were also picked.
The 99 officials will operate in a variety of roles, e.g. referees, assistant referees, fourth officials, reserve assistant referees and video match officials at the World Cup.
The selected FIFA World Cup match officials will attend another dedicated seminar for two weeks in the second half of April at the technical centre of the Italian Football Association in Coverciano, Italy.
The officials would be divided into two groups, which will also include video assistant referee (VAR) candidates.
Between now and the World Cup in June, the selected referees, assistant referees and VARs would be monitored and supported by FIFA Refereeing on an individual basis to ensure they are fully prepared.
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