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Africa Top Stories

No Nigerian Referee Listed For Russia 2018 World Cup

. Egyptian referee Grisha Ghead

No fewer than six African referees were selected as no Nigerian referee made the officiating list for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup holding in June.

The FIFA Referees Committee on Sunday selected 36 referees and 63 assistant referees, representing 46 different countries, for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

The six African referees listed were selected  from Algeria, Senegal, Gambia, Egypt, Zambia and Ethiopia respectively. But no Nigerian referee was considered good enough for the Mundial.

The choice of the final group of match officials selected to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia was based on each referee’s skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams.

Over the last three years, preparatory seminars have taken place for referees and assistant referees focusing on fair play, protecting players and the image of the game, as well as consistency and uniformity. The selected FIFA World Cup match officials will attend another dedicated seminar for two weeks in the second half of April at the technical centre of the Italian Football Association in Coverciano, Italy. The officials will be divided into two groups, which will also include video assistant referee (VAR) candidates.

Following this seminar, the FIFA Referees Committee will announce the names of the referees selected to act as VARs during football’s most important competition, the FIFA World Cup. The selection process will take into account the candidate’s VAR experience in domestic leagues, FIFA competitions and FIFA refereeing seminars since the beginning of the VAR project in 2016.

Between now and the World Cup in June, the selected referees, assistant referees and VARs will be monitored and supported by FIFA Refereeing on an individual basis to ensure they are fully prepared. Following the seminar in Coverciano, all of the match officials will take part in a final preparatory seminar at the FIFA World Cup match officials’ HQ in Moscow, which will start ten days before the tournament kicks off. This seminar will also cover VAR.

During the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, the selected match officials will operate in a variety of roles, e.g. referees, assistant referees, fourth officials, reserve assistant referees and video match officials.


The 6 African referees

The 6 African referees

Abid Charef Mehdi (Algeria)
Diedhiou Malang (Senegal)
Gassama Bakary Papa (Gambia)
Grisha Ghead (Egypt)
Sikazwe Janny (Zambia)
Tessema Weyesa Bamlak (Ethiopia)

The 10 African assistant-referees 
Achik Redouane (Morocco)
Ahmed Waleed (Sudan)
Birumushahu Jean-Claude (Burundi)
Camara Djibril (Senegal)
Dos Santos Jerson Emiliano (Angola)
Etchiali Abdelhak (Algeria)
Hmila Anouar (Tunisia)
Range Marwa (Kenya)
Samba El Hadji Malick (Senegal)
Siwela Zakhele Thusi (South Africa)

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