By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The president of the Nigeria Football Referees Association (NRA), Tade Aziz, has disclosed that Nigerian referees would continue to work hard to merit their ultimate desire to officiate in the FIFA World Cup and that, if and when they finally do so, it would be purely via merit and nothing else.
Aziz, speaking yesterday during the closing ceremony of a five-day FIFA Member Association (MA) Elite Course organised for match officials in Nigeria, said the NRA had put in place a workable plan to replicate the FIFA training programme in the six geo-political zones of the country, with the objective of driving development from the grassroots.
“Our ultimate target is to officiate in the FIFA World Cup. We’ll be there on merit, as far as we will continue to work hard to meet the criteria.
“Our game will not be the same again, as the knowledge acquired during the five-day training course will adequately prepare our referees for good officiating. Even the lower league will start to enjoy good officiating.
“We’ll replicate the training programmes in all the zones across the country, starting from the South-west. We want the grassroots to benefit from the training, as well,” Aziz stated.
He urged the referees to work harder and improve themselves, in order to attract the opportunity of officiating at the world stage.