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Question Number: 31604

Other 6/15/2017

RE: High School

Gerald Ebuka of Owerri, Imo Nigeria asks...

Hello Board, how do i ever fulfil my potentials of becoming an international football official, because in Nigeria here, they kind of don't appreciate sports, football especially. HELP BRIGHTEN A STAR. Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi, Gerald,
there is no doubt that you need to contact your FIFA representatives in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Football Federation (FFF) was banned due to government interference so not sure what status they have now?
The Nigerian soccer team is often the African champions and they do well internationally. So I thought they loved footie over there?

I would say move to a European country to meet better contacts but only you can choose that course of action. I am sorry to say a lot of favoritism is involved in who gets selected based on their abilities but also close associations to big city clubs . You could appeal directly to the referee committee and ask Collina and those involved what steps you might take to get noticed. You certainly have to pass the fitness tests and score in the 99% percentile of the written exams to have any real chance to get selected to go to training seminars. Power and politics and money unfortunately play a role a much as talent, skill and heart. Best bet is try to contact those Nigerians on the referee list already see if they are willing to mentor you or assist you with moving on up the ladder! I can attest to this one fact INTEGRITY stay true to the neutrality of being a non corruptible official,. Train, develop good habits, seek out those who have input into officiating and know the LOTG back & forwards. Go for what you desire but treat every match a the most important one Your Matches Your Decisions will lead up to you developing a Reputation!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

HI Gerald.
Reaching the top of the refereeing pyramid can be a difficult task. Like in all walks of life there are different levels of ability plus there are differing levels of expectation. Other factors that come to bear are age, fitness, location etc and indeed a measure of luck. Doing well in an important game when being assessed can help progression.
If I look at the FIFA list of Nigerian match officials I see that there are seven listed below with the date they were made FIFA officials.
ADEBIMPE Quadri Ololade   1990
AGO Abubakar   1980
BASHEER Salisu   1990
ODEY Benjamin   1980
OGABOR Joseph Odey 1987
SHUAIBU Abdullahi   1985
UDOH Ferdinand 1987
From what I know now I would make it my business to speak with some of these officials to get their experience and advice.
In this part of the world most associations have referee development academies where young officials with potential are brought together and coached to improve their skills. To get on the squad the important parts are age and ability. I believe Nigeria has such academies and you should inquire about same.
So best of luck with it.
As an aside one of the ways to brighten life is through music. Here is a song by an Irish songwriter Christie Hennessy now sadly departed.
Christie left school early with undiagnosed dyslexia. He worked as a painter and decorator in London but had a dream to write and perform music and did become a star. The lyrics have heartfelt meaning.
So give your best to every single game. It is by doing the small things well that we gain good habits and practise which stand us well as we progress.

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