FIFA tips Nigerian refs for 2018 World Cup

World’s football governing body, FIFA, has expressed optimism that with the intense training programme embarked upon by Nigerian referees coupled with their level of fitness, some of would eventually be given opportunity to officiate during 2018 World Cup Finals.

Given the assurance while speaking to Blueprint Sport yesterday on the sidelines of ongoing MA course organized for  elite referees, assessors and instructors, FIFA Referee Assistant Programme (RAP), Instructor Lee Kim Chong, observed that an average Nigerian referee has what it takes to officiate at any competition after undergoing relevant training.
Chong who was the center referee when the Super Eagles beat Zambia 2-1 to lift 1994 Nations Cup in Tunisia also pointed that unlike before, Nigeria now has more qualified referees who are called to officiate at international competitions.

He said: “Nigeria is coming up gradually and has many referees who are fit. This year alone, a good number of them have officiated at CAF- organized competitions and they did well.

“There are lots of potentials who I have seen myself and I know that before 2018, some of them will be mature for selection to officiate at the World Cup. I have been in Nigeria severally; I was in Aba when I officiated at Enyimba CAF match. I have also been involved in some qualifiers involving Nigeria.

Chong bemoaned lack of tactical and technical knowhow by some Nigerian referees but implored them to brace up to challenges ahead.

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