Defend your badge, Zubairu tells FIFA referees

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Sani Zubairu, Head of Referees Unit, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has urged FIFA-badged referees in Nigeria to adequately prove themselves worthy of their ranks by scaling through the quarterly fitness test slated for March 6.

Zubairu said the quarterly test was imperative to ascertain the fitness of FIFA referees for promotion or demotion.

He said that the federation would not relent in promoting football excellence and qualitative officiating through provision of platforms for referees to succeed.

“NFF will continue to give football administration and officiating the best it requires, especially for international matches.

“Our FIFA referees need to prepare well for the fitness test in order to go higher at the global level,’’ Zubairu said.

He expressed optimism in the ability of Nigerian referees, adding that they would continue to make the country proud.

He noted that Nigerian referees at all levels had distinguished themselves as men and women of impeccable character.

Zubairu commended the referees for their belief in impartiality as a watchword, adding that plans for successful Nigeria National League (NNL) and Nationwide League One (NLO) were underway.

According to him, referees are divided into two zonal formations for good preparations ahead of the NNL and NLO.

“We have the Kano zone involving all northern referees and the Sagamu zone for the Southern referees and they are in camps now.’’

The NRA, in collaboration with NFF, will on March 6 supervise a quarterly fitness test for FIFA badged referees.