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Mimisen Iyorhen-Onwuka Bows Out as 29 Nigeria-FIFA Referees Are Decorated

February, 1 2023.

Nigeria-Fifa Badge and elite Referees/Assistant Referees have been admonishes to sustain and where possible improve on their performances, that have helped in restoring a measure of sanity in the 2022/2023 Abridged Nigeria Premier Football League season.

President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Ibrahim Gusau gave the charge during a ceremony, where 29 of the 30 Arbiters, on the 2023 FIFA list, were decorated with their international badges - the symbol of certification.

Represented by the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi at the annual ceremony, Gusau who was away to Morocco for a Special CAF Summit, on the sidelines of the FIFA Club World Cup, that kicked off last night, reminded the nation's elite Referees, of the ripple positive effect their fair, firm, and efficient refereeing, can have on both the top flight league, and clubs representing Nigeria, in the two CAF Inter-Club Championships.

“I congratulate you all on this very special and important day in your career. I want to admonish you to take to heart the ethos of fairness, firmness and efficiency in every task you are assigned. You are ambassadors of our great country at any match venue and you must always have that at the back of your minds.

“The new NFF administration is determined to write a new positive story about Nigeria referees and refereeing. It is always painful to see Nigeria Clubs crashing out of continental competitions so early. Let us tell ourselves the truth; these happen because some of those teams that qualify to represent us in those competitions are somewhat aided in one way or the other and not that they merited their qualification. So, they get exposed when they get to the continental stage.”

Also at the occasion were President of the Nigeria Referees Association, Otunba Tade Azeez; Chairman of the Referees Committee, Miss Faith Irabor; Vice Chairman of the Referees Committee, Rabiu Gusau; Members of the Referees Committee, Kabiyesi James Odeniran, Callistus Chukwujekwu, Bello Abubakar, Abraham Zakowi and Furo Waziri; as well as Secretary of the Referees Commiittee, Hon. Sani Zubairu.

All but one of the 30 Referees, Mimisen Iyorhen-Onwuka who announced her premature retirement last month, received the badges, sent to them via the NFF.

The 29 international Referees will in addition to officiating in FIFA, CAF and WAFU matches, also be the mainstay of Refereeing in the Nigeria Premier Football League, and when need be, the National League and Women Premier Football League.

While commending the level of officiating so far in the ongoing Nigeria Premier Football League, Sanusi assured that those who have been suspended and summoned for questioning will face stiff sanctions if found culpable.

Dr. Sanusi further expressed the sadness of the NFF that championship after championship, hardly do Nigerians get to see their country men or women, listed as referees. This he said is unacceptable and has to stop, because Nigeria is not just a top football playing country in Africa, but the world at large.

"You just need to up your game, stay on the right lane, apply the rules strictly and shun undue influences and attempts at compromising your professional integrity.”, he concluded.

The figure 29 comprises of eleven Referees and ten Assistant Referees; four F Referees and women's category, Beach Futsal (5-Aside) Referees and four Beach Soccer Referees.

The new and re-enlisted Fifa referees took their turns to be decorated at the auditorium of Fifa Goal Project, Package B, Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja and the solemn occasion was rounded off with a Group photograph.

*FIFA Referees:* Ogabor Joseph; Nurudeen Abubakr; Quadri Adebimpe; Kassim Abdulsalam; Abdullahi Abubakar; Bashir Salihu; Grema Mohammed. reports.

FIFA Assistant Referees: Samuel Pwadutakam; Usman Abdulmajeed; Efosa Igudia Celestine; Hope Igho; Tejiri Digbori; Muhammed Yakubu; Tijjani Ahmad

FIFA Beach Soccer Referees: Jelili Ogunmuyiwa; Fawole Olawale; Olayinka Olajide; Rabiu Ahmad

FIFA Futsal Referees: Bello Zuru Alhassan; Musa Dung Davou; Paul Umuago; Ukah Ndubuisi

FIFA Women Referees: Ndidi Patience; Hannah Eliagwu; Olufunmilayo Alaba; Yemisi Akintoye

FIFA Women Assistant Referees: Mfon Friday Akpan; Beauty Kabenda Terah; Abibat Yusuf

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