Adebimpe Quadri

The attention of the NRA has been drawn to the continues misguided posts against its leadership championed by one fake Facebook marabout and celebrated social media blackmailer, one Yaks Adam.
Though it is not in our character to give a hoot to his serial wishy washy write ups against two major officials of the NRA who are members of the NFF Referees Committee, but the recent name calling and release of falsehood concerning badging of referees demands some clarification from the NRA.
Even as there are no plans to to join issues with the purveyor of falsehood whose trademark is only to pour venoms on NRA leadership, permit the NRA to state as follows
1. The issue of selection of referees for FIFA badging each year has always been the job of the NFF Referees Committee and not the NRA leadership as erroneously stated by the faceless Yaks Adam. The NFF Referees Committee is ably chaired by a member of the NFF Executive Committee and icon in football administration, Alhaji Ahmed Fresh Yusuf, the Chairman of Niger State Football Association. Delegates including Journalists who were at the NFF Annual General Assembly on Sunday in Lagos can testify that the task of marshalling out referees for the FIFA badging and cordination was done by Alhaji Yusuf Fresh and not Tade or Zubairu as the case may be to maligned by Yaks Adams. Suffice it to note that before becoming President and Deputy President of NRA Tade Azeez and Sani Zubairu respectively, were members of the NFF Referees Committee with other distinguished personalities including the Socrates of refereeing in Nigeria, member of CAF/FIFA instructor and Referee Consultant to NFF, Mazi Linus Mba, seasoned football administrator and FA Chairman of Abia State, Sir EC Chukwuemeka, Elder E D Olokor and Dave Egho who are also members of the NRA. The NFF Referees Committee as a body meets to take the decisions for the good of the referees and the federation in contrast to the skewed imagination of the writer who focuses on Tade and Zubairu only.
2. There are procedures for selection of FIFA referees each year. In line with the new reforms to improve the lot of Nigerian referees at CAF and Fifa levels, the NFF Referees Committee has been employing trending approaches to select referees which have yielded dividends in the past two years. Apart from having Class A and B referees in FIFA ranking, no doubt a good omen for Nigeria, a Nigeria referee will be in Gabon for next year's African Nations Cup without forgetting the exploits of Mimisen Iyorhe who was in the just concluded African Women Championship in Cameroon.
3. Other issues raised are nothing but a serious element of skewed imagination the blackmailer has always employed to denigrate NRA leadership. The people who have received FIFA badges went through the crucibles of training and due assessment from the NFF Referees Committee before it was endorsed by FIFA. Unfortunately, the cheap blackmailer failed to mention the shortcomings, inadequacies or failures of the listed referees to merit a place in the international ranking. Apart from shortlisting young referees who have more years to operate before age and health challenges begin to pose a threat, one of the 2015 new initiates to the FIFA ranking, Adedimpe Quadri and 2016 Federation's Cup final referee is already catching the fancy of CAF and FIFA as he was handed an international match after the Confederation referees' trainers discovered his potentials during the Young Talents Course in Cameroon in March this year. To appreciate his potentials after the Course, he was immediately asked to handle the centre of a qualifying match for in Ghana, a mean feat unknown in the history of CAF for any young talent who was badged newly.
4. Unfortunately, Yaks Adam became petty by mentioning issues related to girlfriends without noting that the NRA is one family and fraternal exists than his amorous thinking. The fact that the fake poster failed to highlight his accusation on the matter aptly fits into the popular belief that "Comments are free but Common Sense not Common"
5. As an alarmist of the highest proportion, Yaks Adam went further to expose his paucity of knowledge of NRA operations because the fake poster despite pouring periodic incentives on the NRA officials after each major occasion is yet to come up with even a case of any of the alleged atrocities being bandied about that any of the officials may have committed to be merit the tirades.

6. On issues related to dropping of those on the list for new ones, FIFA and Caf Referees Development officials are explicit on three cardinal profoma for yearly merit of FIFA badges, and Nigeria cannot be an exception in terms of application. For sure, the FIFA badge is not a private property of anybody who merits it each year. It is the property of Nigeria not that of any individual referee. It belongs to the country which entails that the recipient MUST meet the accepted standards of Monthly Medical Fitness report, Quarterly Fitness Tests and Performance Test. Any referee found wanting in any of these will be dropped. The Director of Refereeing in CAF Eddy Mileat repeated this aspect during an interactive session with the 2017 Fifa badged referees. For the avoidance of doubt, this year, two referees were dropped on the list based on Medical related challenges and recommendations from CAF Refereeing Development unit and FIFA officials. The federation has no option than to toe the line. The NRA owes no one apology in this regard because that has been the process in recent past. Suffice it to note that even star referees of Nigerian extraction who were in the good books of CAF/FIFA and even enjoyed appreciable classifications were dropped due to health challenges. Why didn't the cheap blackmailers in the mould of Yaks Adams failed to inquire reasons why the likes of Solomon Wokoma, Bunmi Ogunkolade, and Robert Aunduugh could not keep their badges before retirement ages despite commanding a respected position in Fifa ranking. Same applies to Henry Ogunyamodi, Amao Opeyemi and late Andrew Iroro of blessed memory. The two dropped referees for 2017 have medical challenges and it would amount to self destructive tendency for Nigeria to ask for the listing of a referee who failed to take part in Fitness Test due to medical challenges, when CAF and FIFA play emphasis on medical and physical fitness Tests because such exercises MUST take place in their functions for referees.
7. It amounts to theatre of absurdities for the megalomaniac Yaks Adams to always raise alarm that referees pay for programs. Due to the increased harsh economic conditions, corporate sponsorship is lacking. The NRA falls into this category and therefore cannot shoulder all the activities of referees. And as international referees, informing the world that FIFA referees are lamenting the payment of #10,000 for the FIFA badging exercise is a serious infradig on the members of the NRA. Besides, the FIFA referee class of NRA members have their peculiarities and programs which have been a tradition only traducers wallowing in grandeur of delusion like Yak Adams may not understand, to engage in elementary reasoning displayed in the post.
8. On the issue of no 11 Aside FIFA referee from the South East. It goes a long way to show how shallow minded Yaks Adams is in his post on activities of referees. Remarkably, listing of FIFA referee for Nigeria is not a zonal or quota allocation program. Part of the problem that impeded progress of Nigeria referees at the international level in the past was selection of referees based on regional and religious inclination. But in a desperate bid to crave for excellence and come out of the doldrums , the best among equals are considered in the present dispensation as against the medieval thinking of Yak Adams suspected of suffering from partisan proclivity. It might interest readers that at a time years ago, referees from the South East dominated the scene of refereeing in Nigeria and still dictates the pace in terms of instructor. There was a time most female FIFA referees were Igbos and other tribes in Nigeria did not ask for heads to roll for Yak Adams to exhume ethnic sentiments in refereeing matters. Apart from Mba who is a household name in FIFA and the NFF Consultant on Refereeing, the former flagship of Nigeria referee, Callistus Chukwudi Chukwujekwu and now a renowned referees coach is from the South East. Not forgetting a celebrated CAF/FIFA instructor, Felicia Okwugba. It is also regrettable that the poster tried to be economical with the truth by failing to note that South East has a FIFA referee in the person of Pastor Ndubuisi Odigomma Uka of the Imo state council. Trying to differentiate categories of FIFA is a mischievous attempt to deceive the public and institute bad blood among referees.
9. The Enugu State council matter is an internal issue which the General Congress of the NRA has handled after a report on the crisis was discussed at the AGM in Bauchi September this year. The AGM, comprising State council Chairmen and Secretaries is the highest decision making body of NRA. After a careful review and overview of the lingering crisis, the Assembly unanimously adopted a motion moved and seconded by the delegates calling for the dissolution of the Council Exco based on a report that the process leading to their election was improper. The process, according to the report led to further crisis and the General Congress considered it wise to dissolve all the structure to allow peace reign. The decision hailed by all members of the Congress present, is not that of Tade or any Exco, but that of the AGM, since the constitution does not permit an individual irrespective of position to take such a decision.

On a final note, the NRA is very much aware of the activities of fifth columnists within its fold who are working with some licensed blackmailers to tarnish the image of the Tade led leadership because they have no bearing in the scheme of things. The suspects, working in concert with those who lost out in the reorganization and reforms going on in refereeing are no longer comfortable with the giant strides achieved so far to reposition the referees' body. They are jealous of the milestone recorded by the present Exco hence the jump out with cheap blackmails each time the NRA records huge success. The Tade led NRA Exco will not be deterred by the antics of these social media militants whose stock in trade is to malign the integrity of the Association. Concerned authorities have been approached to unmask the identities of the fake marauders and as soon as the process is completed, the public shall be informed about these agents of darkness disturbed by the progress of Nigerian referee.
The general public is therefore required to ignore the purveyor of falsehood as their lies will neither be noticed or responded to in future.
Thanks and remain blessed

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