The 2017 NFF Match Commissioners’ seminar began in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Tuesday, with NFF President Amaju Pinnick declaring that the Federation would start suspending match commissioners who are found guilty of dereliction of duty and/or whose reports are inconsistent with independent match reports.
To this end, the Federation will start making use of independent assessors, as part of measures to further improve the domestic League.
Chairman of Chairmen of State FAs and NFF Executive Committee member, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, delivered Pinnick’s message at the opening ceremony inside the Conference Room of Sharon Ultimate Hotels, Abuja.
In his own address, Chairman of the NFF Match Commissioners Committee, Alhaji Babagana Kalli, noted that in as much as there has been improvement in the area of match commissioning over the years, “it is of high importance that we not only maintain the standards of the previous years, but also improve on them.”
He added: “Match commissioners have shown great resolve in ensuring better matches, which is one of the reasons why we now have a credible and respected Nigeria Professional Football League. They have worked hard to complement the efforts of the League Management Company in taking the elite division to a new pedestal.
“However, the standards that we have seen in the top division must now be replicated in the other Leagues (Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and Nigeria Nation-Wide League) as a matter of urgency.
“I want to seriously recommend the dynamism, energy, focus, discipline, organization and transparency of the LMC to the boards of the NNL, NWFL and the NNWL which were inaugurated recently.”
NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, who was represented by the Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, concurred that there has indeed been improvement in the work of the match commissioners over the years, but opined that there was room for improvement.
Premier League match commissioners took their turn on the first day of the seminar (Tuesday), with the NNL match commissioners to take the stage on Wednesday and the NWFL and NNWL commissioners to be on show on Thursday.
Among the resource persons at the seminar are Professor Musa Garba Yakassai, respected Referee Instructor Mohammed Ameenu, Mrs Edith Nwakire and Dr. Christian Emeruwa (National Integrity Officer and special assistant to NFF General Secretary).
Also at the occasion were NFF Executive Committee members Ahmed Fresh, Otunba Dele-Ajayi, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, Musa Duhu, Chidi Okenwa and Mohammed Alkali. There were also NFF Technical Director Bitrus Bewarang, FA chairmen Busari Ishola (Kwara), Timothy Henman (Taraba), Sunday Longbap (Plateau) and Oswald Otuake (Cross Rivers), renowned women football financier Eddington Kuejubola and veteran journalist Ade Somefun.