Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF)
The General Secretary,
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
*LATE RELEASE OF MATCH APPOINTMENT LIST TO MEMBERS OF THE NIGERIA REFEREES ASSOCIATION (NRA), FOR NATIONAL COMPETITIONS*
1. With due respect, the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, considers it neccessary to bring to the knowledge of the Federation, the late release of match appointments to referees taking part in the national competitions.
2. This information has became expedient in view of the difficulties referees in Nigeria face at the moment while trying to make their ways to match venues due to late release of match appointments from the NFF.
3. It might interest the president of the Federation that the worst hit in this predicament are the referees officiating the ongoing Nigeria National League, (NNL) and Women League (NWFL), even as those involved in the NPFL are not left out.
4. Going by reports available to the NRA from the various state referees councils, several referees appointed either go through hell to get to the venues of the matches or end up not reaching their location before kick off time. In most cases, many fail to turn up at the match venues due to the short notice of the appointment. Furthermore, statistics available to the referees’ body also shows that 60% of those appointed for the above mentioned leagues have missed their matches this season while those who went through hell to make it are up to 30%.
5.It might also interest the Federation to note that due to the late release of the appointment, those who managed to make it to match venues few minutes to kick off of matches suffer fatigue related encumbrances which impede the progress of their officiating.
6.Worse still, the NRA is alarmed by the precarious security situation and regular threat to lives to those who travel during odd hours in Nigeria to request for the attention of the Federation to this matter. Night journey movements have become the portion of many NRA referees due to the late release of appointment. Most importantly, our referees take the huge risk of night travels during this period to enable them meet up for matches at venues due to late realese of match appointments.
The NFF President deserves to know that match appointments for the NNL and Women Leagues are released to the referees from the NFF most times 16 hours to a game where most times the referees need to be on road movement for more than 18 hours. For example, in the NNL, a referee moving from Ikom, Ogoja and Calabar in Cross River State to Ogbomoso, in Oyo State to officiate Crown FC of Ogbomoso home games needs three days notice to plan his or her journey to the match venue less than the 24 hours information the members get from the NFF. With the limited time available after the release of appointment, it is sad to also note that NRA members engaged in other jobs and means of livelihood find it difficult to obtain permission from their working places to honour their matches.
7. Worried by the adverse effects of the late release of appointment which affects the mental psyche of concerned referees during officiating, the NRA graciously request the intervention of the president on the matter.
The association shall appreciate the early release of the match appointment for the good of the game.
Kindly accept our warm regards on this matter.
Yours in the Whistle,
*Otunba Tade Azeez*
1. CHAIRMAN, NFF FOOTBALL COMMITTEE
2.CHAIRMAN, NFF REFEREES COMMITTEE