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Humble beginnings! CAF finally list Nigerian male referee for international event after 3 years

CAF

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the inclusion of a Nigerian referee, Musa Dung Davou, among the match officials for the upcoming Futsal African Nations Cup tournament, Soccernet.ng reports.

Hailing from Plateau State, the referee is recognised as one of the Futsal FIFA referees from Nigeria, having successfully passed fitness and medical tests, demonstrating readiness for the competition.

In Nigerian Referee Association’s history, the closest a Nigerian referee came to officiating at the FIFA World Cup was in 2013 when FIFA Peter Elgam Edibi made the provisional list for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Meanwhile, the last time a Nigerian referee served as the centre referee in a Nations Cup game was in 2006, marking 18 years since a Nigerian referee officiated at the tournament.

The Confederation of African Football in 2021 revealed a list of 63 referees to oversee games at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. Of them, just one Nigerian, Samuel Pwadutakam, was chosen.

Breaking a longstanding trend, despite being a futsal competition, the inclusion of a Nigerian as one of the match officials for a football-based game played on a hardcourt like a basketball court marks a significant milestone.

CAF Referee list for Futsal AFCON

Nigerian football referees have faced heavy criticism following their recent exclusion from the list of officials selected by the Confederation of African Football, notably from the just-concluded 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

This snub by CAF has elicited widespread condemnation from Nigerian football stakeholders, who attribute it to systematic failure.

In an earlier statement to Soccernet.ng, Desire Noumandiez Doue, the Head of Refereeing at CAF, addressed the exclusion of Nigerian referees from the 2023 African Cup of Nations roster, citing that they were not chosen because they were not deemed the best.

“We don’t need good referees; good referees are for the MAs, and good referees are for the zone. In CAF,, we need the best, so Nigerian referees are good, but they can still improve if they need assistance. They need to do more to be among the best because the selection has been started for one year and a half, so we are in a continuous process of scouting, evaluating, and selecting,” he stated.

However, recent developments suggest progress, with Nigerian referees now meeting the required standards, as evidenced by their selection for this competition.

Looking ahead, it’s anticipated that individuals like Davou will leverage their wealth of experience to excel and become distinguished Futsal referees on the continent.

N.B: What are your thoughts about a Nigerian referee’s inclusion after many years? Leave your comments below.

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