The Nigeria Football Federation said Thursday that it has absolute confidence in the match officials from the Republic of South Africa who will handle Sundayâ€™s all â€“important World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and Tunisia.
World football â€“governing body FIFA has appointed tall South African official Daniel Frazer Bennet to take charge of Sundayâ€™s match.
He will be assisted by compatriots Toko Malebo (first Assistant), Andrew Reezers (second Assistant) and Mathew Dyer (fourth official). The Referee Assessor is former FIFA referee Jean â€“Fidele Diramba from Gabon, while Mauritian Ananda Vudda Malay is the Match Commissioner.
Several opinions have been expressed by ball fans about the no â€“nonsense Bennet, who was in charge of the 2006 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola in Kano that ended 1_1 on June 18, 2005 and which consequently led to Nigeria missing the finals in Germany the following year.Â However, NFF President Sani Lulu Abdullahi said: â€œWe have confidence in the match officials, from Mr. Bennet to the fourth official, as well as in the Match Commissioner, FIFA Security Officer and Referee Assessor.
â€œAs far as we are concerned, these are among the best match officials in Africa and we have absolutely no reason to doubt their integrity. They are noble individuals and come Sunday, they will do their job with all diligence.
â€œWe are confident that our team will triumph in the face of fair officiatingâ€.
Lulu Abdullahi also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to fully observe the FIFA Fair Play Days, for which FIFA has declared 5th â€“ 9th September.
â€œWe appeal to referees, fans and officials throughout the country to help praise and promote the spirit of fair play on the Fair Play Days. This initiative has the support of FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter and is the 13th in the series since it was introduced in 1997.
â€œFair play is essential to our sport and to everyone involved in itâ€, declared Lulu Abdullahi. â€œWe need to cherish and nurture the values of sporting spirit and work tirelessly to keep up the momentumâ€.