A former Nigerian Senator Shehu Sani has decried the exclusion of Nigerian referees from the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon which kicks off on January 9. Gazette reports that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has again excluded Nigerian centre referees from the list of officiating officials at the forthcoming tournament.
It was gathered that just one Nigerian, Samuel Pwadutakam, was listed as an assistant referee by the continental body for the competition.
Data shows that no Nigerian has been in charge of an AFCON game in the last five editions of the tournament which amounts to over a decade, Kick442 reports. And this has infuriated ex-Senator Shehu Sani who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the 8th Assembly.
The lover of sports took to Twitter to call out authorities to explain reasons why Nigerian referees were ignored yet again for the biennial competition. Shehu Sani wrote” “Dear AFCON, why did you exclude the Nigerian referees? Why do you hate us this much? Answer me now!” And Nigerians have stormed the comment section of that tweet to express their opinion as well. One wrote: “Nigerian referees are the best when you consider their work conditions. Low pay, constant threat to life and property. I don’t think any other referees will do better in our league. Make I give you whistle for Gombe or Aba stadium go officiate match, you go understand.”
Another added: “CAF has failed to list a Nigerian centre referee in the last five editions of the continental showpiece, spanning a decade. What are you on about? “Find out why teams don’t win away matches in the Nigerian league. Come back after that.” One said: “It’s unfortunate we’re here. How do you expect AFCON to feature referees that their association is not strong financially? Home team host referees in Nigeria. “He who pays the pipers will definitely dictate the tunes. We need to treat sport as a business & not government extension.”