*We surmounted all the challenges with tact
As the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) comes to end across the country, chairman of the Referees appointment committee of the Nigeria Football Federation Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh appraised the match officials (Nigeria referees) on duty throughout the season with a commendable pass mark.
“I am really impressed with the way the referees discharged their duties during the just concluded 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season. Although, there were challenges as the season got tougher but we, at the referees committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, were able to manage them,” Fresh recounted.
The chairman of Niger state Football Association also spoke on some of the successes recorded as regards Nigeria match officials last season.
“Interestingly some of our referees were chosen by Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) to officiate the Africa Cup on Nations qualifiers not only that but also for the ongoing Russia 2018 world cup qualifiers where they all represented Nigeria well with credible performances. Thus, I make bold to score them 70 over 100” Fresh said.
Also speaking about 2016/2017 referee’s performance is the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) President, Mr Tade Azeez. According to him: “as the name implies a referee or simply ref is the person with authority in a variety of sports who is responsible for presiding over the game from a neutral point of view and making on-the-fly decisions that enforce the rules of the sport here am talking about Nigeria referees who took charge in all match venues at 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League season, am elated with the way the referees comport themselves. Of course, that does mean they were perfect whilst on duty but we all should understand one fact (human error) which is part of the game across the globe’ he said
Tade Azeez who is also the vice chairman of Lagos state FA disclosed how the NRA were able to tackle some of the critical issues that were raised during the 2016/2017 season
“Well, issues cannot be removed in football so as the body that monitors and regulates the arbiter we tried to manage those issues professionally and you would agree with me that the referees that were found guilty faced the music, people may say some of the reactions of the body were not seen on time but as a body there are processes which we follow before dishing out punishments.
“Recently we saw how the world’s football governing body dealt with one referee that officiated Fifa related event, so it doesn’t matter how long but how well.. As the NRA President am convinced that our referees made us proud beyond our dear country Nigeria,” he expressed