The Confederation of African Football has explained why Nigerian referees are not selected to serve at Africa Cup of Nations and other continental football games.
Noumandiez Doue, Head of Refereeing at the CAF, stated on Thursday during a CAF referees training session at Sol Beni (ASEC Mimosas Training Centre) in Abidjan that Nigerian referees are good but need to improve.
For the past 18 years, no Nigerian referee has been appointed among the officials for the biannual competition; nonetheless, this choice has sparked criticism among football stakeholders in the country.
Nigerian football fans complained in September that the released referee lists for the 2023 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations, which would take place in Cote d’Ivoire in 2024, did not include any Nigerian officials.
Doue justified this by stating that the CAF seeks out the best referees on the continent rather than just average ones.
“You have good referees in Nigeria and to come to AFCON you have to be the best.
“Good referees are for the Zones, you have to be the best to come to the CAF competitions.
“Nigeria referees are improving but they need to do more to be among the best because the selection has started in the last one and a half years.
“We are in the scouting process of evaluating and to the end of selection.
“We have different stages, you start from young talent to elite B, elite A, and professional, it’s among the elite B we picked for the AFCON,” he said.