Nigerian Referees are not mentally strong to officiate at the highest level of football, according to CAF and FIFA instructor Calistus Chukwujekwu.
Chukwujekwu insists that Referees in Nigeria must step up the plate or risk being left behind by the rest of the continent and by extension the world.
The former Referee was reacting to questions of the the absence of Nigerian match officials at major tournaments, i.e the world cup, in an interview with Godwin Enakhena [Global Sports].
Six Referees and 10 Assistant Referees were selected by FIFA’s Referees Committee for the 2018 World Cup, but Nigeria missed out where officials from Kenya, Sudan and even Burundi were named.
Although he acknowledged that in recent times, some top prospects have emerged from Nigeria, but, the former Referee harped on the importance of self-development and mental fortitude as a key ingredient to break into the big leagues.
‘We’ve recpmmended Referees in the past, when asked to, but you can’t sit through every exercise with them or determine how well they’ll do under pressure.
‘Our Referees are not mentally strong for the big stage and that singular quality is important to succeed at the top level. Importantly, they must put in the work and grow,’ He explained.