12-year-old Nigerian referee reveals World Cup dreams

“Even in my first officiating, I gave both yellow and red cards and I felt normal because they did what made me give them the cards."
12-year-old Nigerian referee reveals World Cup dreams

A 12-year-old Nigerian referee, Bello Musa, has revealed that his biggest dream is to officiate at football's most prestigious event, the World Cup.

Speaking to Daily Trust on Saturday, Musa who is popularly called 'The Kid Refree' opened up on his aspirations and motivation.

Musa who lives in Kano State is a JSS 2 student in a junior secondary school and he's currently a Referee in Training.

According to him, he draws motivation from his elder brother who is also pursuing a career in officiating football matches.

“My brother is a referee. I happened to be like his closest ally, who move around with him always. I accompany him virtually everywhere he is going especially when he is out to officiate matches. That’s how I took an interest.

“I didn’t face any challenge because my elder brother was already into it and he’s doing well. My father specifically encouraged me to go for it as it was not affecting our education in any way.”

Musa revealed that he started as an Assistant Referee, and moved on to officiate as a linesman before taking charge of his first match.

He revealed that he dished out a red card in the first game he officiated as a referee, adding that no team has ever accused him of "bad officiating, taking side or injustice" in the matches he has officiated.

“Even in my first officiating, I gave both yellow and red cards and I felt normal because they did what made me give them the cards.

“At the local level, I watch grassroots competitions while on the foreign scene, I watch Premier League, La Liga and the rest of them.”

On his dream, he said, “I want to see myself become a well-known referee officiating over national and international competitions like the World Cup.”

Speaking further, he said that officiating “doesn’t have any negative effect on my academics. I make sure not to do anything that will disrupt my academic activities.”

The Kid Referee added that he desires to study Physical and Health Education when he gets to the tertiary level.

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