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Pinnick: Now, Nigerian Referees to Be Active Globally





The referees from Nigeria will be one of the immediate beneficiaries of the presence of Amaju Pinnick in the executive committee of CAF.

Pinnick, who now doubles as the president of the Nigeria Football Federation and also holds membership of the very important FIFA Competitions Organising Committee, has promised to put an end to the neglect of Nigerian football referees in international competitions.

He told the Sports Village Square that one of the plans of the new executive committee members was to change the old order that had seen African football fragmented along linguistic and colonial masters’ divide.


He argued that it was not just the Nigerian referees that were often ignored, “most referees from English speaking countries were hardly nominated to handle international competitions’ matches.”

According to him, the Nigerian referees rank among the best in the continent and that he will be working with the FIFA Referees Commission to ensure that Nigerian referees gain better recognition.

He explained to the Sports Village Square that it was very pathetic seeing officials of lesser footballing countries in the continent supplying the bulk of referees at international tournaments.

He remarked that the abolition of linguistic divide is one of the goals that CAF Executive Committee cycle of 2017-2021 has set for itself.

He pointed to UEFA and other confederations that have many language groups but never emphasise it when it comes to competitions. “Here in Africa, we talk about the Anglophone bloc, or the Francophone countries or even the Arab countries or the Spanish/Portuguese nations. “We now have to work as an entity.”


Pinnick emphasised that he will ensure that Nigeria will no longer play a passive role in African football politics.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alh Rahman S, Olawoyin

    March 20, 2017 10:29pm at 10:29 pm

    Best preparation and rigorous training is the key to world cup officiating.There is no denial that we have football referees which can make Nigeria ranked among the best 10 in the world but the fact is the application of ‘Nigeria factor” in listing referees for FIFA Badge year in year out.

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