FIFA referees advisor and consultant to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on refereeing, Linus Mba has become the first casualty of the FIFA suspension order on Nigeria.
Mba who was appointed three weeks ago as the Match Commissioner for the Sierra Leone and Seychelles African Cup of Nations qualifier in Freetown on July 19 has been replaced.
On Monday, the retired FIFA referee and former member of the CAF Referees Committee got a letter from CAF regretting his replacement.
The letter signed by Amr Fahmy Manager, Nations Cup said in part “l 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.
Mr 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 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 has come even on the heels of suggestions that before Tuesday the Nigeria case will be normalized to allow FIFA lift the suspension order.
The Eaglets are expected to fly out Wednesday to Congo DR, while the Falcons are set for the AWC draws in Windhoek, Namibia, this week end, if Nigeria normalizes the relationship with FIFA.
The fate of Mba drives home the powers of FIFA sanctions as adopted by Confederations and other Federations world wide.