Sports Minister to Meet with NFF, Referees’ Association, and Others, Over Non-inclusion of Nigerian Officials for AFCON 2023

Zakari Isah - Kaduna 

The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has expressed his displeasure over the non-inclusion of Nigerian officials amongst the match officials listed for the 2023 African Cup of Nations, held in Cote D’Ivoire next year.

Enoh stated that given Nigeria’s population and pedigree in football, the country should not be in such a predicament, as he promised to hold engagements with bodies related to the matter.

The Minister stated thus “At the last AFCON (2021), Nigeria only had one assistant referee listed amongst the match officials. Two years prior, we didn’t have any center referee either. Going into the next AFCON, we still won’t have any Nigerian officials. I am going to interrogate this matter. We will have engagements with the NFF, the Referees’ Association, and the League Board because we need to get to the bottom of this.”

Senator Enoh also said that without prejudice to the outcome, the development calls for a reflection of the institutional setting within which sports are being administered in the country. He asserted his commitment to ensuring that sports across all facets thrive in the nation, for Nigeria to stand tall in the comity of nations.

The African Nations Cup is billed to take place between January 13 and February 11, 2024, across five cities in Cote D’Ivoire. Nigeria’s Super Eagles topped Group A of the qualifying series to secure participation.

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