BFN Trains 67 Umpires For Int’l Engagements


The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) says it will ensure Nigerian umpires are recognised by the world body especially in the officiating of international competitions.
NFN’s President, Francis Orbih told newsmen in Abuja yesterday that the federation had started the move with the umpires’ course held at the National Stadium, Abuja.
Orbih said the course which held between July 2 and July 5 for 67 umpires was designed to expose them to the latest developments in the game.
He said the course was also organised to build the capacity of the match officials and prepare them for international assignments.
“I can tell you that for any championship, if the standard of officiating is poor, it can mar the game. We feel that our umpires should be grounded in the rules and technicalities of the game.
“As we are today in Nigeria, we do not have one single referee in Africa; there is no Nigerian referee recognised by the world body.
“So, we think and feel strongly that with the level the game has reached in Nigeria, we should have our umpires participating in international competitions.
“It is not only our athletes that should be excelling at international events, our umpires should excel too; we want a situation where other African countries will come to Nigeria and employ coaches.
“We want to train our coaches and umpires to that level. We want to have as many referees as possible recognised and invited by the world body to officiate matches,” Orbih said.
According to Orbih, the umpires’ course will make more meaning to the federation when the match officials are invited to officiate at the highest level.
He said: “When you have people at that highest level it means that there is no aspect of the game that they do not know.
“But first and foremost, we want to make sure that we organise national championships for them before we begin to look at sending them on international training.
“It is the number of games an umpire officiated that add up to qualify him or her to be invited for African championships.
“When I addressed the umpires during this course, I told them that if they do not have competitions where they will go and practice what they have learnt, then, we have wasted our time.