No Nigerian ref listed for 2018 World Cup

The Super Eagles may have given their fans reasons to be hopeful as they prepare for the 2018 World Cup. Their smooth run through Russia 2018 qualifying series and this was capped by their quality display against Argentina in a recent friendly match. Nigeria may have gone up with the Eagles and the country’s improving domestic league but the performance and rating of the Nigerian referees internationally remains a sour part.

FIFA has just released a list of 36 officials ‎who are expected to officiate at the World Cup in Russia next year and Nigerian referees missing out. Nigerians were left out by FIFA even though the world body picked six officials from ‎Africa.

Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan who awarded a controversial penalty against Northern Ireland in their qualifying match against Switzerland stands out as the biggest casualty in the list of officials for a World Cup seminar billed for November 25 to 29 in Abu Dhabi.

Hategan’s penalty decision led to the elimination of Northern Ireland, and that decision appears to have cost him a spot at the 2018 World Cup. He is the only one who officiated in the UEFA World Cup play-offs not included in the list.

Full List:

AFC

Fahad AL MIRDASI (KSA)

Alireza FAGHANI (IRN)

Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Mohammed Abdulla MOHAMED (UAE)

Ryuji SATO (JPN)

Nawaf Abdulla SHUKRALLA (BHR)

CAF

Mehdi ABID CHAREF (ALG)

Malang DIEDHIOU (SEN)

Bakary Papa GASSAMA (GAM)

Ghead GRISHA (EGY)

Janny SIKAZWE (ZAM)

Weyesa Bamlak TESSEMA (ETH)

CONCACAF

Joel AGUILAR (SLV)

Mark W. GEIGER (USA)

Jair MARRUFO (USA)

Ricardo MONTERO (CRC)

John PITTI (PAN)

Cesar Arturo RAMOS PALAZUELOS (MEX)

CONMEBOL

Julio BASCUÑAN (CHI)

Enrique CACERES (PAR)

Andres CUNHA (URU)

Nestor PITANA (ARG)

Sandro RICCI (BRA)

Wilmar ROLDAN (COL)

OFC

Matthew CONGER (NZL)

Norbert HAUATA (TAH)

UEFA

Felix BRYCH (GER)

Cüneyt CAKIR (TUR)

Sergey KARASEV (RUS)

Bjorn KUIPERS (NED)

Szymon MARCINIAK (POL)

Antonio Miguel MATEU LAHOZ (ESP)

Milorad MAZIC (SRB)

Gianluca ROCCHI (ITA)

Damir SKOMINA (SVN)

Clement TURPIN (FRA)