The responsibilities of soccer referees are to control players’ behaviour and implement the rules of the game during competitive football. This placed strenuous task on the referees’ speed performance as well as bio-physiological functioning. The Nigerian soccer referees are always seen to have good speed performance when officiating in the national professional league competitions but were not seen at international level. This study aimed at determining if the relationship between their speed and bio-physiological fitness has bearing on their non-inclusion at international level of competition. Participants were sixty two Nigerian that obtained grade one referee in year 2008/2009 and within the age range of 17 to 41years. The ex-post facto quasi experimental research design was adopted. Data collected were analyzed using the mean score, standard deviation and analysis of variance to test for significant differences in the relationship among the bio-physiological parameters (age, blood pressures and heart rate) and speed performance. All hypotheses for the study were tested at the 95% confidence interval. Findings revealed that there is no significant relation between age, blood pressures, heart rate and speed performance (p > 0.05) of grade one Nigerian FIFA referees. Based on the findings, it was concluded that the speed performance of Nigerian FIFA referees cannot be judged based on their bio-physiological parameters alone which means that enlisting to officiate at international competitions involved many other issues.
Key words: Age, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, FIFA referees.
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