While followers of Nigerian football sit and bemoan the painful fate of the country’s national football team, after it failed to qualify for the 2015 African Nations Cup in nearby Equatorial Guinea, unknown to most Cross Riverians, there is a cheering bit of news that www.calitown.com can reveal.
The only Nigerian official at this year’s AFCON tournament is Cross River’s Peter Edibi. A native of Ikom who became a referee at the age of 13, got his Grade III Referees Certificate at age, 17, the Grade Two in 1989, at age 19 and the Grade I certificate three years later at the age of 22, it is a welcome development that after Edibi missed out on the 2014 FIFA mundial in circumstances that also baffled him, the Confederation of African Football, CAF, has invited Edibi to be at the tournament.
When www.calitown.com spoke with him early last year (2014),he informed that he actually has been “…the only Nigerian referee at the last four Cup of Nations championships and one junior tournament”, just like he was at the inaugural ‘local’ Cup of Nations in Sudan in 2009, the AFCON tournament hosted by Angola in 2010 and the others in Equatorial Guinea and South Africa respectively. Then, he reveals again, “I am the first Nigerian to officiate at the finals of a CAF tournament. That was in Cote d’ Ivoire in 2009?.
Edibi’s appearance though will be limited to that of a linesman, but still does not diminish the fact that, Nigeria’s best is a Cross Riverian. Edibi has since flown out of the country.
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