LAGOS – A retired FIFA badged referee, Festus Okubule, on Tuesday said non-inclusion of Nigerian referees to officiate at finals of FIFA-organised tournaments was a wake-up call to meet the required standard.
Okubule told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the FIFA Referee Committee had its records on performances of Nigerian referees handling matches with levity.
He, however, said the country had good referees who could handle international competitions if given the opportunity to prove their mettle. [eap-ad_1] “We have been having this problem with Nigerian referees not being included in the final tournament of the World Cup.
“But I can tell you right away that the FIFA Nigerian referees have been officiating in the qualifying rounds.
“And in the qualifying rounds they now choose the best referees for the final tournament.’’
He noted that if countries such as Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa could have their referees short-listed to officiate at the tournament, it showed that Nigerian referees had not met the required standards.
“For a referee to be short-listed for a major championship FIFA expects such a referee to have scored not less than 80 per cent in three major matches in a year.
“It is a wake-up call for our referees to always ensure that they take matches more seriously, because FIFA Referee Committee has its records,’’ he said.
One of the nation’s finest referees, Peter Edibi, was excluded even after he was recommended by the FIFA Referee Committee to officiate at the 2014 World Cup.(NAN)