ArticleNigeria Football

When will Nigerian Referees be paid or should they strike like La Liga female Referees

One of the major problems facing the Nigeria Professional Football League is the failure to pay it’s Match officials over the last two to three seasons .


The strike action by Women’s football league Referees in Spain , a move that  ensured the 2022/2023 Spanish Fermini season could not kickoff as scheduled on September 10, 2022 .

For the Spanish women’s league Referees, it is industrial action to press home their demands for improved pay while Nigerian Referees are in a worse condition . ” Working  without pay .”


In sane climes , the role of Match officials as Judges on the football field and the impact failing to pay their Indemnities will have on the sanctity of the game will not allow for the serial indebtedness .


Let us not talk about the amount to be paid , if it matches with the economic realities of the time , or the fact that while other financial details rise , Referees Indemnities are deliberately left static or pegged back as in the case of the Nigerian National League which fell from fifty thousand Naira per game in 2017 to thirty five thousand from 2018 to date .


The verbal appeals and efforts by the NFF Referees Committee and the parent body of this match officials the Nigeria Referees Association have always been met with ” There is no money ” replies by the now scraped League Management Company – LMC and the Football Federation .


The unavailability of money though true and expected for a league without a sponsor but is it not in the organizers power to source for sponsorship or down tools instead of floating a league of debts ?


If it has been possible for this Referees to get money to fund their trips for matches from 2019 to date , then same flow of cash is possible to the new league organizers if deliberate effort is invested .


Whether they are content with suffering and smiling , indebtedness to this Referees will not only have cruel effects on their families but also impact on the standard of officiating in the country .


In Spain’s female soccer for example , the Referees announced a strike on Thursday. The referees and referee assistants, which are all women for the women’s league, say that while the new professional league has improved conditions for players it has not addressed their concerns.


The referees complain that they only make 320 euros ($322) and assistants 160 euros ($161) per game. They understand their roles , the benefits of a commiserate pay and have stood up in demand for it .


A few words of care and concern for those Referees who have passed away and those who have become permanently incapacitated in the course of officiating in the NPFL games during this financial wilderness .


In summary , a popular adage says that ” Until a child acts like he will sleep with his father’s wife , the father may not consider getting a wife for him .”


This adage and the message therein when met with the comment of a frontline Referee personality In Nigeria shoots up another debate , Are Referees In Nigeria United ?


The reaction from a Refereeing guru to the trending issue of the strike by Female Referees in Spain is presented unedited below .


He wrote ” In your Nigeria, your referees beg to be appointed for matches even when they know that the organisers are not paying match Indemnities. If you venture go on strike because of non payment, some who are hungry and lobbying for matches will undermine your efforts to go and handle the match. ”


” Maybe you are not aware of a time in the history of this country’s football where some referees became part of FRAN when the NRA had issues. Some persons who feel favoured by appointment called the bluff of the NRA to be part of the FRAN to enable them go for matches. In the Norway case, the Referees were in unison not to go for a game. Here in Nigeria some of the referees sound and appear beggarly can we organise a boycott? ”


Over to the Referees , what do you want ahead of the 2022/2023 Nigeria Professional Football League season .


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