Alaba Olufunmilayo of the Ogun State Football Referees Council has being elevated and badged as a FIFA Referee at the 2020 FIFA badging ceremony recently organised by the Nigeria Football Federation for Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) members listed for international engagements at an event in Kano. She was part of the five new additional referees selected¹ to join the FIFA rank in 2020.
The Chairman of the Council, Mr. Olatubosun Obayemi who was elated and filled with joy thanked God for making this possible and that this was happening during his tenure. He recalled that this was one of his campaign promises while being elected into office.
The Chairman who congratulated the 25-year-old Alaba, said the last time the council had a FIFA referee was in 2006 when the now Dr. Segun Olawunmi FIFA retired and since then it has been mixed fortunes for the state, but with this event the State has been returned to elite refereeing.
Alaba Olufunmilayo Abigael, a native of Ikangba town via Ijebu Ode was born on May 5, 1995 to the family of Mr & Mrs Alaba Abudu. She had her elementary school at Honey Tees Nursery and Primary School, Erinlu and finished in 2007. She had her secondary school education at Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode and finished in 2013. She proceeded to Tai Solarin College of Education where she studied Physical and Health Education and finished her NCE in 2019.
Her refereeing antecedents have interesting aspects as she was brought into refereeing through her father, Alaba Abiodun Olusegun a retired premier league Referee.
Alaba who had her grade 1 in 2013 at the age of 18 was selected by FIFA to represent not just Nigeria but become Africa’s ambassador for the maiden appearance of young women referees from the six Confederations of FIFA to the last World Cup in Russia tagged “captain of today leaders of tomorrow”.