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Nigerian Football

Honour to Robert Akpenpuun, Nigerian match commissioner going on diplomatic mission




Chairman of chairmen of football council chairmen in Benue State and match commissioner in the Nigeria Premier Football League, Robert Akpenpuun was Saturday honoured at the Bendel Insurance 2-1 defeat of visiting El Kanemi in Benin.

He has also been a protocol officer to the Nigerian national teams. He is however departing Nigeria soon to begin a career in diplomatic mission in Cote d’Ivoire.

His Excellency Phillip Shaibu, Edo State Deputy Governor and Akpenpuun

The Bendel Insurance versus El Kanemi duel may be his last football assignment as a match commissioner. Owing to this, the head of the referees’ committee of the NFF organised a guard of honour for Akpenpuun as both Bendel Insurance and El Kanemi players honoured the football official who was the match commissioner for their Match Day 15 duel.

Before then, the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi had sent him a letter of congratulations as Akpenpuun, a Chief Superintendent of immigration goes on diplomatic mission.


  “Your years of successful, fulfilling and fruitful stewardship as a member of the Protocol Committee of the NFF immensely benefitted Nigeria and its football”, Sanusi remarked in a tribute to ever lively Akpenpuum.

Most members of the Nigerian football community affectionately tagged him “Officer of the Federal Republic”.

Sanusi also remarked that it is on record that Akpenpuun set operating standards that placed his funtional roles as targets for subsequent members to aim at.

“The NFF is proud of you and your achievements”, Sanusi noted. In addition, Akpenpuun was given letters of introduction and recommendations to both WAFU B offices and that of the Cote d’ivoire football federation who may wish to engage his services while on the diplomatic mission in the country.

Akpenpuun will be on ground to join those to receive the Nigerian delegation to the Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Africa Cup of Nations holding next year. The Super Eagles are at the cusp of qualification.


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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