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Why Nigerian Referees Are Not Officiating At AFCON — CAF

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The Confederation of African Football has revealed why Nigerian referees are not selected to officiate at the Africa Cup of Nations and other football tournaments on the continent.

Head of Refereeing at the CAF, Noumandiez Doue, while speaking on Thursday during a CAF referees training session at Sol Beni (ASEC Mimosas Training Centre) in Abidjan, said Nigerian referees are good but need to do more.

No Nigerian referee has been selected among the officials for the biennial competition for 18 years, this decision has, however, been debated among football stakeholders within the country.

READ ALSO: AFCON 2023: Ivory Coast To ‘Loan’ Coach Until End Of Tournament

In September, Nigerian football fans bemoaned the released lists of referees for the 2023 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations ongoing in Cote d’Ivoire in 2024 for not having any referee from the country.

Justifying this, Doue said CAF goes for the best on the continent and not just average referees.

You have good referees in Nigeria and to come to AFCON you have to be the best.

“Good referees are for the Zones, you have to be the best to come to the CAF competitions.

READ ALSO: AFCON: Tanzania Sacks Head Coach Seven Days Into Tournament

“Nigeria referees are improving but they need to do more to be among the best because the selection has started in the last one and a half years.

“We are in the scouting process of evaluating and to the end of selection.

“We have different stages, you start from young talent to elite B, elite A, and professional, it’s among the elite B we picked for the AFCON,” he said.

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Nigeria’s Basketball Team Withdraws From Afrobasket Qualifiers Over Lack Of Funds

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Nigeria’s basketball team popularly called the D’Tigers has withdrawn from the Afrobasket qualifiers window over lack of funds.

D’tigers made this announcement on Wednesday evening after it complained of not getting funding from the Federal Government.

The PUNCH reports that President Bola Tinubu, in January, cleared the outstanding payment that FG owed the Super Eagles and other sporting teams of the country.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Man To Death By Hanging For Killing 11-yr-old

According to a statement on the X handle of Tinubu’s Media Centre, on Sunday, the payment entails the clearing of the senior national team coach salaries running up to 15 months, payments of allowances and promises due to the senior national teams, females, and Under-20 national team.

The statement reads, “President @officialABAT has approved the payment of N12 billion outstanding backlog for Nigeria’s National teams of various sports, which includes Super Eagles and others.

“The payment entails the clearing of the senior national team coach salaries running up to 15 months, payments of allowances and promises due to the senior national teams, females, and Under-20 national team.”

However, D’Tigers on its X handle wrote, “Despite several 2020 Olympians committing, D’Tigers forfeit this AfroBasket Qualifiers window due to lack of funds from the government.”

READ ALSO: US, Europe Stocks Drop As Dollar Rises

Recall that in 2022, former President, Muhammadu Buhari, approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from international basketball competitions for two years.

A statement issued by the then Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, said the presidential directive followed the intractable crisis that has dogged and crippled the development of basketball in the country in form of the leadership crisis at the Nigeria Basketball Federation.

The statement said the decision to withdraw the country was made to concentrate efforts by the government towards revamping the sport from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund.

The sports ministry also said an Interim Management Committee will also be set up to oversee the management and development of the domestic basketball leagues in the country to further address other related issues around the development and advancement of the game in the country and to utilise the period of break to address all contentious issues among stakeholders.

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FULL LIST: AFCON 2025 Preliminary Draw

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The preliminary draw for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations has been held today at the Confederations of African Football headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

The draw followed the conclusion of the 34th edition of the competition hosted by Ivory Coast.

The preliminary draw had the eight lowest-ranked teams according to the FIFA ranking: Somalia, Djibouti, Sao Tome, Chad, Mauritius, South Sudan, Liberia and Eswatini.

The teams will play on home and away basis during the FIFA Window of March 18 to March 26.

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: CAF AFCON Starting XI

Explainer: Guidelines To Actualise Guinness World…
Below is the full list of the AFCON preliminary draw:

Somalisa Vs Eswatini

Sao Tome Vs South Sudan

Chad Vs Mauritius

Djibouti Vs Liberia

The just concluded 2023 AFCON was held in Côte d’Ivoire and won by the host team, the Elephants.

They defeated the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 in the final of the tournament.

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Emerse Fae Confirmed As Cote d’Ivoire Head Coach After AFCON Triumph

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Emerse Fae was on Monday rewarded for guiding Ivory Coast to the African Cup of Nations title as interim coach by being given the job full-time.

“Emerse was until now interim coach and has just been confirmed today as full coach,” the Ivoirian federation boss Idriss Diallo said.

The Elephants were facing elimination when they fired veteran French coach Jean-Louis Gasset in January after winning just one of their three group games.

The next day, results fell the hosts’ way and they squeezed through as the last of the four best third-placed teams. Fae, a former Ivorian international who had never coached before, took over.

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Fae oversaw an incredible turnaround.

In the last 16, the Ivorians came from behind to beat holders Senegal on penalties. Then, playing much of the match with 10 men, they came from behind to beat Mali in extra time in the quarter-finals.

After beating the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0 in the last four, they came from behind once more to beat Nigeria 2-1 in the final and lift the trophy.

 

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