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Obafemi hails ex-Unilorite, Olarinoye's FIFA appointment

Date: 2018-04-20


The Registrar of the University of Ilorin and retired FIFA-badged referee, Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi, has described the appointment of Unilorin Medical graduate, Dr. Ayodeji Olarinoye, as FIFA Doping Control Officer as a "heart-warming news" to him.

Pointing out that the University is proud of its product, Mr. Obafemi said, “We thank God in this University that one of us is making waves in the field of sport on the world stage”. The Registrar, who was one of the Veteran Recipients at the 2016 Federation Cup Grand Finale, said, ''Dr Olarinoye has always been in sport even when he was doing his MBBS here and it is so heart-warming to some of us that know him that after attending some courses, FIFA now appointed him.

Dr Olarinoye, a former Team Doctor of Golden Eaglets - Nigeria's U-17 football team, will join the network of FIFA medical officers charged with the responsibility of ensuring safe and healthy participation in football after attending several FIFA anti-doping trainings.

On the decision of the world football governing body, FIFA to deploy the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at the World Cup in Russia, Mr. Obafemi, who is also a Referee Instructor, observed that the system ''may be a good one'' as questionable decisions will no longer destroy a game.

He, however, expressed his reservation, saying that the VAR may ''dampen the morale of a referee if his decisions are upturned by the VAR during the course of a game. But before the game, it is expected to make the referee to be at his best so that none of his decisions will be upturned by the VAR.''

According to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) protocols, VAR should only be used in four key cases: goals, penalties, direct red cards and mistaken identity. However, the VAR is the only person who can decide to get involved as the referee cannot ask them for help.

On the participation of the African Teams (Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia at the World Cup which starts in June, Obafemi said "I don't forecast because I'm a referee. The Countries that have qualified are the best. So we expect our best to compete with the best from other continents. The game of football is not a guess game. It is an eleven-eleven game." He observed that the development of African football has been "particularly good by the day with Ahmad as CAF President". According to him, the new President of Confederation of African Football, Mr. Ahmad Ahmad has taken some steps making football development in Africa to improve greatly.

The outgoing Registrar of the University, who also doubles as the Chairman of Association of Registrars of Nigerian Universities (ARNU), however expressed shock that "with two months to the World Cup, the Coach of the Super Eagles is still shopping for Number 1 Goalkeeper for the Team".

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