Four NRA Members Join International Ranks, As FIFA Badging Event Holds in Kano
By Niyi Busari
The number of FIFA badged referees from Nigeria has been swollen with four more members of the Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, added into the ranking position of FIFA badged referee.
The four successful referees who took part in the FIFA fitness test conducted last September are Grema Mohammed of Borno State Referees council, Lagos State council based Hope Igho for male Referee and Assistant Referees category respectively.
In the women category, while Alaba Fumilayo of the Ogun state council is listed for the referee, Akwa Ibom state council woman referee, Mfom Akpan Friday is for the Assistant Referee.
In the futsal cadre, Bello Alhassan Zuru of the Kebbi state council, a Premier league referee is also on the list for those to wear the badge this season.
Born on the 6th of October 1995, Grema Mohammed attended Royal Primary School, Damaturu and Yobe Children Academy, Damaturu for primary and secondary education respectively.
After obtaining a Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Maiduguri, Grema Mohammed who is the State council Secretary of Borno state obtained a Bsc Degree Library and Information Science form the University of Maiduguri.
The new FIFA referee is a civil servant and works at the Computer and ICT Centre of the University of Maiduguri
After years of expolit in the whistle blowing act, Hope Igho’s effort has finally paid off with a FIFA badge. Born on 30th of July 1994 in Lagos, Nigeria. Hope attended Biney memorial primary school, and proceeded to St Joseph Boys Senior Secondary School, both in Lagos. In 2012, he got admitted into the University of Ilorin to study Human Kinetics Education. By 2015, the Lagosian had become a certified fitness instructor. In 2016 he graduated with 2nd class honours in Human Kinetics Education from Unilorin
In 2017, was posted to Katsina State for the National Youth Service Corps and served at the Katsina State Sports Council as the Secretary to the State Athletics Association. In the same year, he became a certified Human Resource Manager and a certified Health Security and Safety Supervisor. Presently, a post graduate student at the University of Lagos studying Exercise Physiology.
In refereeing career, Hope Started as a Referee-in-Training in 2008 and became a grade one referee in 2013. According to him in an interview REFEREE NIGERIA conducted, “I officiated in the Nigeria Nation Wide League for 3 years and for 2 years in the Nigeria National League.
“I became a referee at the apex league in Nigeria (Nigeria Professional Football League) in 2017. In 2018, I was awarded the best referee in Lagos State. I have attended 3 FIFA Membership Association courses: 2017, 2018 and 2019”
ALABA OLUFUNMILAYO ;
Signs that she is destined for greatness showed when the FIFA delegation to Nigeria for the 2018 MA Course found her worthy among the women group for the course, to not just represent Nigeria but become Africa’s ambassador for the maiden appearance of young women referees from the six Confederations of FIFA to the last World Cup in Russia.
Alaba Olufunmilayo Abigael, a native of Ikangba town via Ijebu Ode was born on May 5, 1995 to the family of Mr & Mrs Alaba Abudu. She had her elementary sch @ Honey Tees N/P sch Erinlu and finished in 2007. Her secondary sch @ Anglican Girls Grammar sch Ijebu Ode and finished in 2013. She proceeded to Tai Solarin College of Education where she studied PHE and finished her NCE in 2019.
Her refereeing antecedents have interesting aspects as
she was brought into refereeing through her father, Alaba Abiodun Olusegun a retired premier league Referee.
She had her grd 3 in 2009 at the age of 14, grd 2 in 2011 at the age of 16 and her grd 1 in 2013 at age 18.
In 2018, Alaba Fumilayo selected by FIFA to represent Africa, in a FIFA organised program in Russia tagged “captain of today leaders of tomorrow”
MFOM AKPAN FRIDAY
Coming up as a new Assistant Referee for the women is Akwa Ibom based Mfom Akpan Friday.
A University of Calabar, Calabar graduate, Mfom joined NRA in 2006, and got his Grade One in 20011 after passing through the crucibles of NRA training program of passing from RIT to Grade 3 and Grade 3 to 2 in 2009. The
Bachelor of Agriculture (Hons) Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management holder officiated NNWL between 2012 to 2014 and NNL 2015 and 2019/2020 season before she was listed for the FIFA badging. The woman referee who did her NYSC in NFF also won many laurels as NWPL Best Referee of the Month courtesy of NFF Vice President, Barr Seyi Akinwumi.
BELLO ALHASSAN ZURU
Bello Alhassan Zuru, the new Futsal Fifa referee was born on the 15th of March 1993 at Wassagu. He is from Zuru Emirate of Kebbi state.
Zannan Gwandu Model Primary School and later moved to Govt Day Sec School Brinin Kebbi before attending Waziri Umaru Polytechnic, Kebbi State for National Diploma in Business Education. The businessman had his Grade One in 2014 and currently a Premier League referee in Nigeria. He is of the Kebbi State council
Speaking on the development, the NRA President, Otunba Tade Azeez while appreciating the NFF for their kind gestures towards referees development and capacity building reminded the new FIFA referees that the new badges though a promotion but means more expections.
Otunba Tade Azeez informed the new FIFA referees that the badges belong to the country but handed to them as ambassadors which implies that they should not only guide it jealously but defend the badge all the times whether at international or domestic scene to justify the confidence reposed on them.
The NRA President opined that that the association is always available to cater for their welfare and needs where necessary.
On behalf of the NRA, Otunba Tade Azeez wished all the FIFA Referees best of luck for the 2020 football year.