By Gracious Akujobi
FIFA badged Nigerian referee, Bunmi Ogunkolade has sent a SOS to the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Gbenga Elegbeleye over what he alleged are plans to frustrate him from officiating.
Ogunkolade, thus pleaded with the DG to investigate the reason why his name was excluded in the recently concluded FIFA readiness test and why the referee committee of the Nigeria Football Federation has been sidelining him.
The Oyo state-born referee stated that the NFF referee’s committee chairman, Suleiman Muazu told him that his exclusion was for health reason, arguing that they should have allowed him undergo medical tests like other referees.
“Yes I was sick some time ago, but I have since recovered but they still ignored me despite reporting my full recovery to them. I guess my problem began in November last year when I attended CAF’s Elite referees’ course in Cairo and I was not allowed to participate in the physical fitness test”
“The reason why I was stopped was because I failed the medical test due to high blood pressure. I duly reported the case to the former secretary of the NFF Referees committee Barnabas Joro, and he wrote a letter to NFF medical committee asking for re-examination for me and Dr. Muazu directed me to see a consultant cardiologist, which I did.
“I was examined twice at the Abuja National hospital and certified fit and healthy to engage in
any physical activities and the two cardiologists gave me a covering note but the committee ignored it” he stated.
He said he protested to the NSC DG because he had been denied both local and international matches which look as though the Referees committee is pushing him into retirement.