FIFA said it chose the referees based on their ability to read the game, among other reasons.
Nothing seems to have changed in the ratings of Nigerian referees by the world football governing body, FIFA, as none of the country’s referees was included in the short-list for the Brazil 2014 World Cup made public on Wednesday.
The Nigerian referees, who were also not nominated for honours at the last CAF awards held in Lagos, will only watch from the screens as their African compatriot take to the field.
Leading the African contingent of referees set for World Cup in Brazil are – Noumandiez Doue (Ivory Coast), Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia), and Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria).
Other African referees on Wednesday’s shortlist include: Doue Noumandiez Desire (Cote d’ Ivoire), Gassama Bakary Papa (Gambia), Alioum Neant (Cameroun), and Bennett Daniel Frazer (South Africa).
The assistant referees nominated from Africa are Yeo Songuifolo (Cote d’Ivoire), Birumushahu Jean Claude (Burundi), Menkouande Evarist (Cameroon), Kabanda Felicien (Rwanda), Achik Redouane (Morocco), Etchiali Abdelhak (Algeria), Camara Djibril (Senegal), and Range Marwa (Kenya).
Europe provides nine of the 25 officiating teams, South America has five, Asia has four, Africa and the CONCACAF region have three each, and Oceania one.
The youngest referee chosen is 33-year-old Wilmar Roldan of Colombia, and the oldest is 43-year-old Noumandiez Doue of Ivory Coast.
“FIFA has implemented a comprehensive program to ensure that the referees for its flagship competition are in peak condition,” the world governing body said in a statement.
“The referees selected … have been chosen based especially on their personality and their quality in football understanding by being able to read the game and the teams’ tactical approaches towards each game.
“Between now and the World Cup, the selected group of match officials will participate in three seminars: February, March/April, and the last one ten days before the kick-off.
“The selected referees and assistant referees will be followed and monitored regularly during this period, and FIFA is ready to give them all the support they need so that they can prepare for this important World Cup in the best possible manner.”