157 Referees Fail Fitness Test

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, 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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