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157 Referees Fail Fitness Test

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About 30 per cent of referees who participated in the National Fitness Test of the Nigeria

(Football) Referees Association last week failed to make the mark, the association has said.

According to the test’s analysis made available on Tuesday in Abuja by the association’s National Publicity Secretary,

Mrs Serah Adebisi, 157 of the 506 participants failed.

The Tidesports reports that 347 participants passed in the test which took place at the Abuja National Stadium from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26, 2011.

Lagos which had the highest number of 37 participants also had the highest number of 30 successful candidates, with Oyo

closely behind with 25 of 34 candidates being successful.

Kaduna also had 19 of its 26 candidates coming out successful, while Niger had only 13 of its 25 candidates passing the test.

Plateau had the biggest success rate with only two of its 24 candidates failing, while the FCT had eight of its 23 participants

failing.

Benue also had 14 candidates successful out of 23, Ondo had 13 of its 20 candidates passing, while Abia had eight candidates failing out of 19.

Also, Kwara had 13 successful out of 19, Imo with 12 of 19 successful and Rivers with 14 successful out of 18, while Bauchi had all its 17 candidates coming out successful.

Yobe and Zamfara were as successful as Bauchi, with five and four candidates respectively, while Sokoto and Kebbi had one candidate unsuccessful out of eight and four candidates respectively.

Borno which presented two candidates had both of them failing, while Jigawa with four and Ebonyi with six had only one candidate each coming out successful.

Tidesports  reports that the test which had participants from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT had consisted 150 metres in 32 secs, shuttle walking races and 12 rounds of 300 metres races.

Speaking to The Tidesports on the test result, NRA President Ahmed Maude said the successful candidates would be grouped for use in both the Premier League or the Nigerian National League (NNL).

He said they would join the 48 others who had taken part in the FIFA Fitness Test which took place some months ago.

“We will now put them into groups for selection to officiate in the two leagues on the basis of their grades and performance in the test.

“They will be joined by the 26 FIFA-badged referees and the 22 young referee talents we had earlier identified for development.

“These ones had already done their test earlier during the FIFA Fitness Test, and have thus qualified to officiate in the two

leagues by virtue of their status and past performances,’’ he said.

Maude however said the unsuccessful candidates still have a chance to redeem themselves.

“As it is now, they can’t take part in officiating in the leagues, based on the result. But we will give them another chance in February, when there will be another test,” he said.

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… As Coach Expresses Optimism To Qualify For 2026 W’Cup

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach Finidi George has set his sights firmly on securing qualification for the 2026 World Cup, demanding unwavering commitment from his top players as the team aims to get their faltering qualifying campaign back on track.
Unveiled to the media in Abuja on Monday, Finidi, who succeeded the outgoing Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, wasted no time in laying out his immediate priorities, two crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin early next month.
“Nigeria comes first, that’s what I expect from every player I invite. You have to be playing in your club, and you must have the commitment,” Finidi told reporters on Monday.
Recognising the importance of a strong start, the former Ajax winger emphasised the significance of the upcoming clash against South Africa.
“The first targets are to qualify for the World Cup and AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations), and a win over South Africa will set the tone.”
Nigeria currently finds itself in third place in their qualifying group, with just two points from as many games, while South Africa sits second with three points.
Finidi, who has signed a year’s contract with an option for an additional year, acknowledged the immense pressure that comes with leading the national team of a country with over 200 million people.
However, he exuded confidence in his ability to withstand the scrutiny, stating, “I have a tough skin.”
While his salary remains undisclosed, the 53-year-old coach expressed a willingness to prioritise performance over immediate financial rewards.
“The salary is good enough for me, it’s not as much as that of (Jose) Peseiro.
“Money is good, but if you add value to what you do, the money will come. Then they can come and ask ‘Coach, how much do you want?” Finidi said.

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I’m Not Under Pressure, I’ve Tough Skin – Finidi

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New Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George, has underlined that the word pressure is not in his dictionary and appealed for support from key stakeholders including the media.
Speaking after his unveiling yesterday in Abuja, the former Enyimba of Aba coach said; “In life you cannot be afraid. As you see me here, I am a quiet person but I’m not afraid of anything. The worst you can get in football is not getting the result, the best you can get is winning all the time, and I will try my best to make sure that the team functions properly and we start winning games.”
On whether is under pressure to justify his appointment, the coach stressed; “Pressure, I don’t think I have it. I have that tough skin and I want to plead you guys, the media we need your support.
“What is in the contract is boldly written, what the NFF wants and Nigeria in general, but for me personally my first target is to make sure we are in line to qualify for the World Cup. AFCON qualifiers definitely will be coming up soon, but the major step for me is these two games that we have.
“If we can win against South Africa and Benin, we will set the tone.”
During the unveiling ceremony, the NFF confirmed that ex-Super Eagles striker; Daniel Amokachi and Abiden Baruwa will be the assistant coach and goalkeeper coach respectively.
The first assignment for Finidi, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, is to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

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Amusan Becomes World’s Fastest Woman, Sets New Track Record

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Nigerian sprint icon Tobi Amusan has become the world’s fastest woman in the women’s 100m hurdles after running a world-leading 12.40 seconds.
In a thrilling race, the world record holder secured the victory, leaving behind Danielle Williams, the world champion, who clocked her best time of the season at 12.46 seconds. Following closely was American Christina Clemons, claiming the third spot with a time of 12.54 seconds.
This triumph means the Nigerian athlete has now claimed the top spot globally, surpassing American Tonea Marshall’s previous record of 12.42 seconds set in late April.
Tobi Amusan’s impressive win arrives just two months before the Paris 2024 Olympics, setting the stage for an exciting competition ahead.
John Enoh, the minister of sports development, on his X handle congratulated Amusan over the feat.
Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!
You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons.
“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time! You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s,” he wrote.
“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others, that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you.”

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