The World football governing body has once again selected a long list of match officials that does not include Nigeria.
FIFA has recently revealed a list of match officials for the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup, which does not include Nigeria.
The tournament, which is set to take place from the 20th of July to the 20th of August, will include match officials from Togo, Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, Zambia, and Morocco, but not Nigeria.
However, three Africans are among the 33 referees who will preside in the competition, which will be co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
They are Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda, who officiated at the men’s AFCON, Amedome Vicentia of Togo, Karboubi Bouchra of Morocco, and Makalima Akhona of South Africa.
Furthermore, FIFA recruited more than five Africans among the 55 assistant referees and 19 video match officials.
FIFA’s decision to base its criteria on “quality” implies that Nigerian officials are inadequate.
“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected on-field match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” says Pierluigi Collina, the FIFA Referees Committee Coordinator.
Steering the criterion of selection towards “high standards of the referee”, he proceeded. “We all remember the very successful FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France. The high standard of refereeing contributed significantly to that success. The aim for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 is to repeat that success and to convince again with excellent referees’ performances.”
He went on to say that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 in 2020, the organisers were able to choose the finest from over 170 candidates.
“Even though the pandemic affected our activities, we had enough time to provide the candidates with good preparation. As we did for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are announcing these selections well in advance to be able to work in a purposeful and focused manner with all those who have been appointed for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, monitoring them over the coming months.
“From the selected referees, we expect a rigorous and focused preparation for the Women’s World Cup, a competition that FIFA and its president hold in the highest of regards.”
The world will once again focus on Europe as the Super Falcons compete in the World Cup against Olympic champions Canada and one of the event’s hosts, Australia in the group stage.