Referees Committee will continue to enforce strict measures to keep officials in check against unjust officiating in the Nigerian league, according the Referees Instructor with the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Chukwudi Calistus Chukwujekwu.
Speaking to journalists in Ilorin on the side-line of a seminar on the new rules and amendments to the Laws of the Game, Chukwujekwu said that the introduction of keeping referees that misbehave in the cooler has been helping the system, pledging that it will be sustained, in order to sanitize the system.
Even as he admitted that there are serious challenges been faced by the officiating officials, especially at match venues, the move to develop the game cannot and should not be compromised.
“At some points, the referees and other officials were not paid, but most of them still operates within the rules, and that forms the basis for which a strict measure needs to be taken to bring sanity into the system”, he said.
He added that the Referees Committee and by extension, the Nigeria Football Federation would need to also take other measures, especially ahead of the commencement of the 2021/2022 league season.
“The Referees Committee will call for a meeting of Club Managers and the leadership of the NFF and the referees, to tell ourselves the basic truth. If I come to your home and you rob me, you come to my home and I robbed you, of what use is it? It’s not developing our football at all.
“Playing football on a level playing ground where everybody enjoys it will make the game grow.
We need to let the administrators know that football is played in the open, and they need to work very hard to get results, not through manipulations.
Meanwhile, the issue of handball interpretation in officiating has been described as most turbulent, especially in the last three years.
Speaking at a three day seminar on Laws of the Game, its interpretation and amendments in Ilorin, Kwara state, a Referees Instructor with the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Chukwudi Calistus Chukwujekwu said that apart from players’ deliberate and non deliberate moves, not all balls that hits the hands are fouls.
The seminar, which was attended by referees, relevant football stakeholders and players of Kwara United Football Club, also dwelled on other aspects like psychology of refereeing, offside and other concepts, especially on new amendments.
The seminar was declared open by the Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bola Mogaji, who said that officiating is important to the growth of the game.
The Chairman of the Kwara State Football Association, Mallam Idris Abdullahi Musa said that the seminar was in fulfillment of part of his campaign promises, even as he commended the state government and the Kwara State Sports Commission for providing enabling environment for sports development in the state.
The Chairman of the Kwara State Football Referees Council, Mallam T. A. Mohammed commended Kwara FA for facilitating the seminar, which he says it’s first of its kind.