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Nigeria’s Ndidi Madu, Mimisen Iyorhe For WAFCON FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup

Referee Patience Ndidiamaka Madu flanked by two other referees

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Federation of International Football Associations have rewarded Nigeria’s highly ranked women football referees, Patience Ndidiamaka Madu and Mimisen Iyorhe by being listed among elite referees that will officiate in upcoming major tournaments.

Referee Madu a Doctorate Degree student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, hails Enugu State Football Referees Council is already in Cairo, Egypt as one of the women referees from Africa invited for the second edition of the preparation course for the Women’s AFCON, the women version of the Africa Cup of Nation,

FIFA has given Assistant Referee Iyorhe, a graduate of Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi; from the Benue State Council the nod to join arbiters drawn from across the confederations of FIFA to officiate in matches at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World in Costa Rica this year.

President of the Nigeria Football Referees Association, Otunba Tade Azeez has described the recognition accorded both referees as eloquent testimonies that the efforts of the NRA in conjunction with the Nigeria Football Federation to help Nigeria referees, especially the men’s folk gain more international recognition, is yielding the desired results.

On record that the first set of Nigerian women to receive the most sort after FIFA Badges, were Faith Irabor who was then of the Kwara State Football Referees Council; and Elizabeth Bola Abidoye of the Kaduna council was short-lived, Ms. Abidoye had a full-blown and very Successful career.

At her peak, she was the face of Nigerian elite referees, and had marks, while refereeing matches at both the Women’s Afcon, women’s Olympics football tournament, and the Women’s Fifa World Cup.

Hopefully, the recipe that worked for these women referees in the past, and at present, will also stimulate or rub off on their male counterparts, who have remained in the cold, rarely counted among the elite class of African Referees; and ignored by FIFA when it names Referees, and Assistant Referees for almost all of its tournaments, including the flagship FIFA World Cup.

Reporting by Chinedum Ohanusi & Mma Cynthia Okonkwo; Editing by Tina Oyinsan