The Nigeria Football Federation has congratulated the duo of FIFA-badged referee Ferdinand Udoh and African Woman Player of the Year Asisat Oshoala for deserved strides they made in the past few days.
Udoh, 28, and much respected for his athletism, firmness and strict application of the rules of the game, has been selected by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as one of the referees for the 11th African U-17 Championship taking place in Niger Republic, 15th February – 1st March, 2015.
Oshoala, Most Valuable Player of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup finals in Canada, and also undisputable choice for same honour at the African Women Championship in Namibia last year, signed a professional contract with Liverpool Ladies Football Club of England.
NFF Acting President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, lauded the duo and charged them to see their strides as calls to put in even more effort and diligence into their different vocations.
“The NFF is happy with the selection of Ferdinand Udoh for the African U-17 Championship in Niger. This underscores that the integrated efforts we are making for the general improvement of refereeing in Nigeri has not gone unnoticed by the organisations that matter.
“For some years now, we have not had a Nigerian centre referee at major competitions. Now, Udoh is starting with the U-17, which we know is a stepping stone to further glory and much greater glory. Let me reiterate that our objective is to see a Nigerian referee, or referees, officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.
“We congratulate Oshoala who is definitely the new poster girl of Nigeria’s women football. Her contract with Liverpool Ladies will certainly encourage her mates in the National Team to also put in more efforts to attract the attention of the best clubs in the world.”
Oshoala was duly crowned the African Woman Player of the Year and Youth Player of the Year at the Glo-Caf African Football Awards in Lagos earlier this month, with Nigeria also claiming the Women National of the Year diadem.
Ferdinand Anietie Udoh, born in 1987, became a FIFA-badged referee in 2013.
Nigeria’s leading assistant referee, Peter Edibi, is presently working at the 30th Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea.