The World football governing body, FIFA, has presented badges to 29 Nigerian referees.
Kelechi Mejuobi, Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Referees Association (NFA), said 22 men and seven women referees were presented with the badges.
They are 14 centre referees and assistant referees, four futsal referees and four beach soccer referees.
He said the seven women are all football referees and assistant referees.
“From the 2017 approved referees, Abubakar Ago – from male football – Hadiza Musa – from female football – and Ushie Micheal – from beach soccer – all retired and have been replaced by three young referees – Abubarka Abdulahi (men’s football), Patience Madu (women’s football) and Olayinka Olajide (beach soccer),” he said.
“The referees received their FIFA badges from the Nigeria Football Federation officials in Kano and are available to officiate in any continental game – as well as domestic matches.”
It would be recalled, the world football governing body had earlier this month fined the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 6,000 Swiss Francs (approximately N2,175,660.00) for fielding an “ineligible” player in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying match between Algeria and Nigeria on 10 November, 2017.
“This sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria had already qualified (and Algeria eliminated) before the match took place,” FIFA said.