The first female Nigerian head the Nigerian referee committee was once a retired FIFA referee and also a former CAF referee instructor.
The first female to head the Nigerian referee committee, Faith Irabor, has asserted that she will transform the reputation of the Nigerian FA’s referees committee in the Nigerian football community.
Irabor served as the Director of Sports for the Edo State Sports Ministry before being appointed. She is a retired FIFA referee, a former CAF referee instructor, and the association’s first vice president since 2019.
The NFF has given the referees’ committee a mandate to handle referees and other officiating-related topics across all domestic tournaments in Nigeria. The appointment is effective immediately and will last from 2023 to 2025.
The first woman to hold the position, spoke enthusiastically about the opportunity to contribute her extensive expertise and knowledge while sharing the extraordinary tale of her life’s journey.
Irabor told CAFOnline.com, “I’m excited because It is an opportunity to bring my experience on board as I have been in the field for years, as a retired FIFA referee, and a one-time CAF instructor up until five years ago,”
“So I am in very familiar terrain. So for Nigeria, it is a huge task and the president has promised to give us a level playing ground and we will do our best to change the narratives.
“As a woman, I have always enjoyed landmark achievements when FIFA was picking referees for the first time in 1995, I was one of them. For the first time, I was among the first eight CAF instructors as, that’s technical, and the first woman.” she said.
Speaking further about her role indicates that Irabor is accustomed to working with males, and she expresses her thanks to the president for giving her the rare opportunity to oversee the committee.
“In our Nigeria Referees Association, I’m also the first woman to be first vice president. It’s like I operate more in the men’s world. So, it’s not new to me. I’m used to it. I have been in the league with men and was once the best Referee of the Year.
“I appreciate the president for finding me worthy to do this job and bring a lot of reforms. He dared to follow the FIFA and CAF regulations which is a good omen and we can see that everything is moving in the right direction.” she remarked.