The Director General of National Sports Commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye on Wednesday in Abuja declared open this year’s FIFA Member Associations Elite Course for referees, technical instructors, referee assessors and physical fitness instructors.
At a ceremony inside the Media Centre of the National Stadium Complex, Elegbeleye charged the participants to be studious in order to grow quickly in the profession, expressing excitement at their youthfulness.
“I am happy seeing most of you being so young. It means that the future is indeed very bright for Nigerian refereeing. You must be diligent and study hard, remain fit, alert and committed to the profession.”
NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, who was represented by Chairman of NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, praised world football-governing body, FIFA for making Nigeria one of very few countries to benefit from the elite course twice a year.
“FIFA’s support and encouragement for this course, has been underscored each year with the sending of some of its best hands in refereeing instruction business to come to Nigeria and impart uncommon knowledge to our referees, referee assessors and technical instructors.”
There are seven technical instructors, 37 referee assessors, 30 elite referees and 14 physical fitness instructors attending the five-day course.
Speaking at the event, renowned former FIFA referee Lim Kee Chong from Mauritius encouraged Nigeria referees to believe in themselves and aim higher always.
Also present at the ceremony were NFF Executive Committee member, Alhaji Muazu Suleyman (also chairman of the NFF Referees Committee), NSC Director of Facilities, Engineer Ibrahim Shehu, NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, NSC Legal Adviser, Mrs S. B. Adewale and FIFA Referee Advisor Linus Mba, and other course instructors.