QATAR 2022

Nigerians missing as FIFA names controversial AFCON referee, 7 other Africans for World Cup

The omission marked Nigeria's continued poor representation, or lack of it for more than a decade at global and continental tournaments.

Sikazwe

The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has released the list of selected referees to officiate at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year, with eight of the centre referees, being Africans.

Although Nigerian referees were omitted from the list of world officials for the tournament in November and December, it saw respected Gambian referee, Bakary Papa Gassama, among the selected eight centre referees from Africa.

The recent omission marked Nigeria's continued poor representation, or lack of it for more than a decade at global and continental tournaments.

In December, CAF named only one Nigerian: Samuel Pwadutakam - as an assistant referee, among a list of 63 for the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.

Asides from Gassama, another notable name on the list was Janny Sikazwe.

In an opening group game between Mali and Tunisia at the recently finished AFCON, the Zambian official sparked controversy by attempting to end the contest in the 85th minute and then, whistling again before the 90th-minute mark.

Sikazwe was later diagnosed with heat exhaustion and was defended by Essam Abdel-Fatah, the AFCON 2021 head of referees.

In March, he was handed responsibilities to oversee a CAF Champions League Group D encounter between two Angolan clubs, Petro De Luanda and Esperance Sagrada.

Other African centre referees expected to officiate in the Qatar 2022 World Cup this November, include,

Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (Ethiopia)

Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)

Jean Jacques Ndala (DR Congo)

Redouane Jiyed (Morocco)

Maguette N’diaye (Senegal)

and Victor Gomes (South Africa).

South Africa's Gomez refereed the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Egypt.

The officials are expected to undertake intensive training with referees from different parts of the world before the World Cup.

The tournament will take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, with the opening match between Senegal and the Netherlands.

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