Ahead of the highly rescheduled Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released the list of referees, assistant referees, and VAR Referees for a preparation course for the tournament and no Nigerian match official made the list, www.aclsports.com reports.
I only have one message for #Nigerian referees – FIX UP! Or you will keep missing out on refereeing at the #AFCON. Where are the new Bolaji Okubules, the Linus Mbas and Callistus Chukwujekwus in Nigerian refereeing? The Nigeria Referees Association needs to take a good, hard look… pic.twitter.com/DOE6hvHa1y
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) September 12, 2023
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The course is billed to take place later in the year in Cote D’Ivoire ahead of the tournament proper. The 34th edition of the AFCON will be played from 13 January 2024 to 11 February 2024.
The list is made up of 32 referees, 33 assistant referees, and four VAR referees from more than 15 member associations, but there is no space for any official from Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Samuel Pwadutakam, who worked as an assistant referee at the last tournament in Cameroon, misses out.
All the listed officials will go through medical screening, and theoretical and physical drills in their quest to make the final list for the tournament. The officials will be tested on the technical and tactical analysis of the game, reviewing video clips of matches plus a special session on integrity and match manipulation.
Experienced former CAF referees and now Instructors Malang Diedhiou (Senegal), Mohammed Guezzaz (Morocco), Felix Tangawarima (Zimbabwe), Jean Claude Birumushahu (Burundi) and Yeo Songuifolo (Cote d’Ivoire) led by FIFA instructor Mike van der Roest will supervise the training programme.