THE Nigeria Referees Association, NRA, has called on the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to educate stakeholders especially the media and football fans on the new FIFA rules. Tade Azeez, president, NRA, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja, at the ongoing FIFA Member Association Course for Referees that the awareness was necessary to avoid confusion during matches.
He said, “It is the first time in the history of football that they are going to have a massive review of the laws of the game, so, it requires so much. But for all I know, our season is on, we can’t start interpreting when the season is on, it has to be when a new season will begin.
“We will take every of our referee through series of seminars. We will take everybody around it. We will not involve only ourselves, we will have to involve the teams, everybody, so that when certain calls are made people will know why those calls are made.
“There is an offence you can commit even outside the penalty area that will warrant a penalty kick now; you will be surprise that you can pick offside in the half of an opponent. So, all these things we really have to sit down and ensure that it goes down to the grassroots for everybody to know that this is what football is all about.
“It’s better for everybody to understand these things including you (media); we have to look for a way to educate the supporters of some of these teams because ignorance is not an excuse. They should not take laws into their hands to say this is what it should be when they don’t really know, so, we have to prepare for it before we start implementing.”
According to Azeez, the ongoing course had afforded the match officials the opportunity to know the new rules.
NAN reports that FIFA recently reviewed the rules of football among which is, the award of penalties from incidents that occur outside the 18-yard-box, but Azeez said more awareness needed to be created. It reports that the on ongoing course for match officials’ will end on Friday, while the new FIFA rules will take effect from June 1.
— May 30, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT