CAF Excludes Nigerian Referees from AFCON: Football Fans React 
Home Sports CAF Excludes Nigerian Referees from AFCON: Football Fans React 
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CAF Excludes Nigerian Referees from AFCON: Football Fans React 

The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has released its list of officials for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire, noticeably omitting any Nigerian referees. The announcement has led to a flurry of reactions from fans and officials alike.

The list includes 32 centre referees and 33 assistant referees, along with four VAR officials and other technical staff, sourced from various African countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Egypt. However, not a single Nigerian referee was chosen, continuing a 15-year drought of Nigerian representation among referees at AFCON.

NRA president says it would be resolved

President of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Sani Zubairu, expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved soon. He revealed that the association, in collaboration with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is working diligently to ensure Nigerian referees are considered for future CAF and FIFA competitions.

“The current NFF board, led by Ibrahim Gusau, is committed to addressing this issue. We have processes to follow, but we are on the right path,” said Zubairu.

Football fans have taken to social media to express their disappointment and call for action. Only one Nigerian, Samuel Pwadutakam, served as an assistant official in the last edition of AFCON, and the latest CAF decision has reignited discussions around the lack of Nigerian representation in international refereeing.

Other African referees who made the list 

Egypt and Algeria topped the list with three referees each, while VAR officials were selected from Mauritius, South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt. The selected referees are slated to attend a preparatory course ahead of the tournament next year.

While it remains unclear why Nigerian referees were overlooked, many hope that the current attention will serve as a catalyst for change.

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