The recurring decimal of unabated FIFA and CAF rejection of our referees is due to misleading and misapplication and circumventing of FIFA's extant and perspicuous guidelines on refereeing by the nation's football authorities, perhaps unwittingly. Languishing away as a result, are thorough professional virtues and core specialists, who are passionate about refereeing; those great motivators who mentored the younger ones and encourage them to uphold high moral and professional virtues.
We need to redefine our refereeing values, reposition it for improved performance. It doesn't take rocket science to know that our training and preparation are below global best practices. FIFA badge is sacred and a heavy responsibility for those who wear it. We therefore need to pursue aggressive talent and grassroots development with effective monitoring and evaluation if our referees would be part of global officiating.
Some of us are discussing or refereeing today because you cannot change your DNA. Our referees need all the physical, technical, mental and psychological preparations, as well as adequate knowledge of the Laws of the Game, interpretation and effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E). We equally need honest, committed men and women to drive or apply it. The crusade must be holistic and all-embracing.
There is more power, more speed; endless tactics, physical, mental and psychological preparation in order to stay up to speed in an ever-evolving world. Football is levelling out each day; therefore, the game must be able to rely on qualified professionals in all sectors the game.
Upon heaps of criticism of Nigeria football referees, I believe there are very ample supplies of good apples in the system, but playing to the gallery or grandstanding is not the answer to the menace. There are something that are so obvious that don't even call for debate in Nigerian referee and refereeing - a clear below global best practices in preparation and training which indicates that our system has failed or is failing.
It was that greatest dramatist - William Shakespeare, who in Mark Anthony's virtuoso address in his book, said "...the evil that men do lives after them..." "Absolute power corrupts absolutely", this saying casts a big shadow on why Nigerian referees are where they are now.
Alhaji R.S. Olawoyin, retired FIFA AR; CAF-trained referee; FIFA-trained assessor