AudioAge – Abuja, Nigeria – 14 August 2017 – The Nigeria Football Federation has sent out a strong warning to all officials who would be assigned for matches of the 2017 AITEO Cup competition starting on Wednesday 16 August 2017 to perform creditably or have their names permanently struck off the list of arbiters in the country.
Speaking after his committee’s meeting in Abuja on Monday, Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh told thenff.com that any referee found wanting would not only be thrown out of the vocation but could also face prosecution.
“The NFF Referees Committee has decided to go tough on erring referees. For several years, we worked very hard to try and get sponsors for the oldest football competition in this country, but could not for one reason or the other. Now that we have one in AITEO, we will do everything humanly possible to guard that relationship jealously.
“Any referee found to be involved in any shenanigan, or deemed to be outright incompetent or mischievous, will be summarily dealt with. We are tired of complaints about referees. We are ready to throw out as many as are found culpable, and will be ready to have only few competent and self –respecting persons take charge of matches,” Fresh stated on Monday.
The NFF Executive Committee member also informed thenff.com that only Nigeria’s FIFA –badged (international) and elite referees would be handed shifts in the AITEO Cup competition beginning from Wednesday.
“Only the FIFA referees and elite referees would be involved. No National League or Nationwide League officials. We want the best arbiters available to take care of the matches and give credibility to the competition.
“The glamour of this much –loved competition must return in full force and in even greater glory.”
Meanwhile, the Organizing Committee of the AITEO Cup has empathized with players and officials of Akwa United FC of Uyo, who were involved in a road mishap on the Umuahia-Enugu road on Monday, on their way to Hadejia for a Round of 64 clash with Halfa FC of Jigawa.
“We want to sympathize with the Akwa United delegation involved in the mishap on their way to Jigawa State. As a result of this, we have resolved to move their match against Halfa FC to Thursday,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, who is also secretary of the Committee, told thenff.com.
Also on Monday, the organizers moved the clash between Bayelsa United FC and FC Zamfara, earlier slated for Port Harcourt, to Nembe Stadium, just as the match between Ngwa FC of Ebonyi and FC Galadima of Kebbi will now hold at the Abakaliki Township Stadium. Organizers passed the two stadia fit to host the matches, which will come up on Wednesday.
The clash between Yobe Desert Stars and Kano Pillars will now take place in Damaturu on Thursday, 24th August.
Nigeria Football Federation