FIFA suspension: CAF drops Nigeria’s Linus Mba as match commissioner

FIFAFIFA Referees Advisor and Consultant to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on refereeing, Mr. Linus Mba, has become the first casualty of the FIFA suspension order on Nigeria.

Mba who was appointed three weeks ago as match commissioner for the Sierra Leone and Seychelles African Cup of Nations qualifier in Freetown on July 19 has been dropped and replaced with someone else.

The retired FIFA referee and former member of the CAF Referees Committee got a letter from CAF on Monday informing him of the development.

The letter signed by Amr Fahmy, Manager, Nations Cup reads in part: “I regret to inform you that due to the suspension of the Nigeria FA, we had to temporarily suspend all appointments for any officials/referees from Nigeria, so we were left without any choice but to replace you for the above-mentioned match.

Fahmy regretted the “price that experienced men like yourself, good servants of African football, have to pay.”

Few hours before the CAF hammer, Mba had received a mail from Mr. Chris Kamara, General Secretary, Sierra Leone Football Association that his tickets and other documents to him and the referees were to be sent by Wednesday.

This decision comes in spite of suggestions that Nigeria’s case will be normalised before Tuesday to allow FIFA lift the suspension order.

The Golden Eaglets are expected to fly out Wednesday to Congo DR, while the Super Falcons are set for the AWC draws in Windhoek, Namibia, later this week, if Nigeria manages to normalise its relationship with FIFA.

The fate of Mba drives home the powers of FIFA sanctions as adopted by Confederations and other Federations worldwide.