Amaju Pinnick, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, on Tuesday said the Federation was going to come tough on referees.
Pinnick, in an interview with newsmen on the side-lines of the FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme organised in Abuja, said the body was coming out with a reform for referees.
Pinnck said: “Right now we are coming out with our reforms for referees. We are going to be very tough on referees.
“Referees hold the key for people to go into the stadium. If you know that you are going to have good officiating you will want to attend matches, so they hold the key to that.
“With what we have been able to achieve this year we only want to improve on it.”
Following that event, the Nigeria Football Federation Referees’ Committee on Thursday fired 31 Premier League referees on performance, medical and age grounds.
According to the Nigeria Referees Association’s website, Suleman Jimeta, John Inoyo, Sylvester Okobi, John Charles, Ajao Ibrahim, Mohammed Usman, Alaba Abiodun and Bulus Ajiji were retired on performance grounds.
Orowole Tope was retired for medical reasons, while Ogunta Matador, Nkem Uwogu, Aundugh Robert, Isa Mohammed, Benjamin Nneji, Iriabor Abraham, Abubakar Garba, A.Ibrahim, Garba Hamza, Isyaku Indabawa, Nasiru Ibrahim, Nasir Ahmed, Mansur Shaibu, Morufu Sule, Ojo Adewale, Kolawole Akinwale and Augustine Ereyole were retired on age grounds.
Others are Gbadamosi Abdulazeez, Hussaine Adamu, Awugo Friday and Peter Shinyi.
Meanwhile, the Premier League referees will undergo fitness tests and a pre-season seminar between November 24 and 30 in Abuja.
The National Secretary of the NRA, Kelechi Mejuobi, said, “Referees from the South-East and South-South will hold theirs on November 24 and undergo physical fitness tests on November 25.
“Those from the South-West will have their medicals on November 25 and undergo fitness tests on November 26 while their seminar will be between November 27 and 28. Referees from the North-West and North-East will have their medicals on November 26.”