The desires of Nigeria Referee Association (NRA) to have young Nigerian referees to officiate in the FIFA and CAF competitions would soon materialize as a new Referee Academy where youngsters are trained will soon produce 18 fresh grade-one referees between ages 18 to 20 years.
A retired grade one referee, Hon. Babatunde Olaniyan Akoro who established the Football Referee Training School in Ibadan said the institute was established about five years ago and it has produced 25 young referees that would undertake grade one exams this year and about 50 already qualified from RIT (referee in training) to grade
Olaniyan who was formerly the Deputy Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly who spoke with newsmen during the week 6 NPFL home match of Shooting Stars at Lekan Salami Sports Complex said our league would soon be enjoying the services of the new breed referees whose competences are not in doubt.
“The aim and objectives behind the referee academy is to inject fresh blood into the act of football officiating in Nigeria as it is
obtained in many other football playing nations which is in line with the aim and objective of FIFA.
”This would also enhance the chances of seeing Nigerian referees officiating at the international competition because there are certain young ages FIFA and CAF consider for appointment “, Akoro noted.
He however added that a seminar would soon be organize for the young-lads in preparations for the cooper test and NRA referee assessment exams where notable instructors such as Prof. Tunde Asagba, Mr. Felix Simirie, Dr. Oladipo of the University of Ibadan would be in attendances.