This Day (Lagos)

Nigerian Ref, Edibi Set for W' Cup Debut

Nigerian Assistant Referee Peter Edibi is about to make history as the first Nigerian to officiate during the World Cup finals even as his dear father will not be alive to celebrate the feat. His father died early this month.

Six months ago, Edibi was listed as one of the referees under consideration for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 and was in attendance in a fitness test in Zurich that saw most of the referees unable to meet the requirements.

Last week, Peter literally jumped for joy when a letter signed by Selene Cruz, Protocol Coordinator, Local Organising Committee, FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 invited him to Brazil.

The letter reads in part " ....Dear Sir, we are pleased to send you herewith attached, the invitation letter you will need for your special visa for Brazil to be able to attend FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014...."Based on the above Edibi will be attending a referee's seminar in Rio de Janeiro in May, an auxiliary event to the FIFA Confederation Cup.

Peter Edibi is also on his way to the FIFA/CAF Elite Referees course taking place in Cassablanca, Morocco on April 26.

When contacted Mr Linus Mba, NFF referees Consultant and FIFA Referees Instructor, said he was delighted with the rising profile of Peter. "....The Confederations Cup will be his test and I am sure he will do well enough to be able to qualify for the world cup proper, by the grace of God, given his diligence and discipline over the years." The veteran referees instructor said.

In another development, Mr Lawrence Egar Edibi, Peter's father who died on April 9, will be buried in his home town of Emanghebe in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State on April 24, 2013.

Born in 1932, the 81-year-old will be sorely missed, especially by his son who had wished that he was around to witness God's ultimate favour on him.

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