FIFA Arab Cup: Again, FIFA snubs Nigerian referees

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba has congratulated the Africa match officials who have been appointed as match officials in the forthcoming FIFA Arab Cup slated for Qatar in November.

This is even as the world football governing body (FIFA) has once again ignored Nigerian referees in the list of 52 worthy arbiters including eight Africans to officiate in the football competition which FIFA is using to test-run the facilities to be used for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final.

The eight African referees in the list released by FIFA to officiate in the tournament which will kick off on Tuesday, 30 November, 2021, are referees: Bakary Gassama from the Gambia and Janny Sikazwe of Zambia who will serve as Center Referees while Assistant Referees are Djibril Camara of Senegal; Elvis Nouue of Cameroon; Jerson Dos Santos of Angola Zakhele Siwela of South Africa.

Also, FIFA appointed Moroccan Redouane Jiyed and Ibrahim Aly Elsaid from Egypt Video Match Officials to complete the list of eight African officials made up of two referees, four assistant referees and two video match officials. All the match officials selected by FIFA are part of the elite panel of referees on the CAF/FIFA programme.

Meanwhile, an elated CAF Scribe, Mosengo-Omba said: “Improving the standard of match officiating in Africa is one of the priorities of this administration. We would like to congratulate the match officials who have been selected for the FIFA Arab Cup, I know they will make CAF proud.

“This is a big stage for them to showcase the work that CAF is doing in taking the standard of match officiating to another level. I’m confident that with our programme, we will produce more world class match officials. I take this opportunity to thank FIFA for the wondering collaboration with CAF in supporting and the education of our referees.”

Also, CAF Director of Referees, Eddy Maillet added: “This is a great opportunity for the match officials – to be in Qatar and to adapt to the local conditions and environment as this competitions is happening in same period as the FIFA World Cup next year. The group selected must take advantage of the opportunity.

“We will be monitoring and we will be taking feedback from the FIFA assessors. We are looking for solid performances from our elite group. The FIFA Arab Cup will also prepare our group for the up-coming TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations next year in January, in Cameroon.”

List of officials appointed by FIFA from CAF:


Bakary Gassama (Gambia)

Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)

Assistant Referees:

Djibril Camara (Senegal)

Elvis Nouue (Cameroon)

Jerson Dos Santos (Angola)

Zakhele Siwela (South Africa)

Video Match Officials:

Redouane Jiyed (Morocco)

Ibrahim Aly Elsaid (Egypt)

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