Former FIFA referee, and now FIFA senior technical instructor Felix Tangawarima has advocated for more support from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for referees to enable them to meet international standards for more participation in the global scenes.

Speaking while on a courtesy visit to the President of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau at the NFF Secretariat, Abuja on Wednesday argued that with this support from the Federation, the absence of Nigerian referees from major international tournaments will soon be a thing of the past.

VERIFIED: Nigerians can now earn US Dollars with premium domains just like Americans, acquire for as low as $1200 and you profit $19000 (₦23million). Click here to start.

“We have seen so much promise and potential from the Young Talents, and as I said last week, there are exceptional talents in there who can easily step up to the plate to replace some of the elite referees that we believe are no longer good enough. It is now our responsibility, and that of the NFF, to keep inspiring, supporting, and encouraging those young blood to fulfill their potential and reach the apogee.

“It is no longer tenable that major tournaments come and go without Nigerian referees. Something must be done and I can tell you that we are on to a good thing now. I am happy about the new direction that the NFF is taking in the area of refereeing development, the commitment of the leadership to motivate the referees, and the personal interest of the NFF President in changing the narrative.”

While commending the excellent work of the NFF Referees Sub-Committee, Tangawarima, who was in company with FIFA Fitness Instructor Mark Mzengo from Malawi, appealed to the NFF President to find the enablement for Nigerian international referee instructors to periodically engage upcoming instructors at the zones to enhance their capacity.

Responding, Gusau stated that he is always most pained any time there is a report of misdemeanour by a Nigerian referee or a list of referees for major tourneys is released without a single Nigerian referee.

“I find it unacceptable. At every opportunity, I tell the referees that we will continue to assist those who deliberately step out of line, to stay away permanently. It is a vocation that requires the highest level of integrity, discipline, dedication, diligence, and moral rectitude.

“We are delighted at the good recommendation you have given our next generation of referees. We will work assiduously to see that they fulfill their potential.”

The NFF President also used the occasion to announce that the Federation has already procured new gadgets for Nigerian referees to enhance their work on the field of play.