FIFA Greenlights 30 Nigerian Referees for Global Stage in 2024 International Competitions

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The International Football Association (IFA) has granted approval for the inclusion of 30 Nigerian referees in the international duty lists for the upcoming year, 2024. This significant decision by the world football governing body encompasses a diverse selection, comprising 11 referees, 11 assistant referees, four beach soccer referees, and four futsal referees.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) shared this noteworthy development through a statement released by its Director of Communications, Mr. Ademola Olajire, in Abuja on Thursday. The statement not only confirmed the approval but also unveiled the names of the referees who will proudly represent Nigeria on the global football stage.

Among the approved referees are notable names such as Basheer Salisu, Ogabor Odey Joseph, Olufunmilayo Abigael Alaba, Nurudeen Abubakar, and Abdulsalam. The list of assistant referees includes individuals with promising potential, such as Pwadutakam Samuel, Igudia Efosa Celestine, Abibatu Iyadunni, Muhammad Yakubu, Mfon Friday Akpan, and Digbori Tejiri.

Further diversity is brought by those included in the futsal and beach soccer lists, featuring names like Ukah Odigomma, Musa Davou, Umuago Akpome, Bello Zuru Alhassan, Ogunmuyiwa Jelili, Fawole Adeolu, Olajide Olayinka, and Rabiu Ahmad. This broad spectrum of approved referees reflects the depth and talent within the Nigerian football officiating community.

This announcement serves as a positive turn of events following a recent setback for Nigerian referees. Notably, none of them secured a spot on the official 85-match list for the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in the Ivory Coast. Despite this disappointment, the approval for the 2024 international competitions provides a fresh opportunity for Nigerian referees to showcase their skills and contribute to the global football landscape.

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