FIFA Referee Instructor seminar kicks off in Johannesburg

The importance of empowering referees in football cannot be overstated, but it is equally important to also equip those responsible for educating the referees and keeping them up to speed with the latest development in world football.

Some of the top refereeing instructors have congregated in Johannesburg, South Africa for the annual FIFA Referee Instructor’s Seminar for both men and women. The seminar kicked off today and will run until 22 March. About 32 instructors are participating at the event, and they come from all continents. The instructors will be responsible for all FIFA-organised refereeing instructing activities. The aim is to develop and improve the performance of registered referees in all matches under the auspices of member associations at all levels, thereby improving standards at international level.

FIFA Refereeing Development senior manager, Fernando Tresaco–Gracia said the seminar will go a long way to lifting the standards of officiating on the pitch. “In order to improve the referees, we realised that we have to improve the level of training with the instructors,” he said. “We realised that we have work with the instructors and invest in them. The main objective of the Refereeing Assistance Programme (RAP) for the future is to help the member associations to implement the regulations on the organisation of refereeing.”

The seminar aims to empower instructors and to create a blanket, uniformed approach. It also strives to improve the quality of the referee’s instructors – a process that will consequently lead to a better performance by the man in the middle of the field.

The seminar, amongst other things will dwell on:

- Insure uniformed interpretation and application of the Laws of the Game.

- To receive information on the content, programme and philosophy of the FUTURO III refereeing courses and MA Refereeing courses

- To review and analyse the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ situations included in the teaching material for 2011.

- To achieve uniformity in the analysis and presentation of match situation.

- To receive information on the latest teaching materials for referees to be used in the refereeing activities.

Sonia Denoncourt from the FIFA Refereeing Competitions Division said: “It’s important for FIFA to host this annual instructor course and to mix men and women together so that we can have the common message. We have to increase the quality of teaching and professionalism. It’s good to see lots of women participate, almost 25 per cent of the participants are women, and that means we are moving towards the right direction. We need to concentrate on quality,” she said. Denoncourt also said part of the long-term goal was to discover more female instructors, especially the continents that have little or no representation at FIFA level.

Ashford Mamelodi, who is the FIFA Development Officer in Southern Africa, said: I’m particularly proud that it has come to Africa and Southern Africa. I’m sure that most of us will benefit from this experience. I must say, in the last couple of years, FIFA has done a lot to improve the standards of football in our region and our content,” he said.

President of the host association, SAFA, Kirsten Nematandani said: “South Africa is honoured to be the host of this important event. We are especially proud of the fact that FIFA regards us as a suitable place to host its programmes and seminars. I believe the 2010 World Cup showed the rest of the world that this country has a lot of potential,” the SAFA President added.