FIFA teams up with Mexican and Ecuadorian football for innovative refereeing agreement 

  • Mexican and Ecuadorian FAs to exchange best practice and lessons learned in regard to refereeing development

  • FIFA experts to provide organisational and technical support

  • Aim is to establish refereeing strategy and tap into potential in Ecuador, thereby improving standard of refereeing

A collaboration agreement centring on refereeing was signed this week between the Mexican Football Association (FMF), the Ecuadorian Football Association (FEF) and FIFA. The initiative is aimed at fostering the exchange of technical knowledge between the associations and the implementation of strategic improvements in order to boost refereeing in Ecuadorian football.

“Initiatives like this one, based on joining forces, are vital for the development of the game worldwide,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “This project epitomises FIFA’s vision, which revolves around collaboration and solidarity in pursuit of a common goal: making football truly global.”

Meanwhile, FMF President Yon de Luisa hailed the agreement and added: “For the FMF, any opportunity to take steps forward and further the development of Mexican football is always cause for celebration; on this occasion, this will entail sharing and exchanging practices focused on improvement for the benefit of everyone involved.”

For his part, FEF President Francisco Egas said: “There is so much to be gained from these sorts of synergies between associations – not just in refereeing but in many other areas too.” He went on to note that “FIFA’s active involvement and the interaction between the project teams will be fundamental in ensuring that this collaboration bears fruit.”

Under the agreement, the parties will share experiences and know-how; in particular, the FEF will be given an insight into the FMF’s refereeing operations with a view to identifying tools and initiatives that can be incorporated into its own work and activities.

RENNES, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Referee Lucila Venegas looks on during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group F match between Chile and Sweden at Roazhon Park on June 11, 2019 in Rennes, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Further learning opportunities will be provided in the shape of FIFA-run capacity-building courses and thematic workshops for referee instructors and the heads of the refereeing departments at both associations. These will equip the participants with actionable takeaways that will, in turn, feed into the application of good practice throughout the collaboration.

In addition, the FMF and FIFA will assist the FEF in drawing up a strategic plan for sustainable refereeing development. This will ultimately pave the way for the optimal roll-out of the video assistant referee system in Ecuador.

Likewise, FIFA will provide organisational and technical oversight to ensure that the various activities undertaken are managed, coordinated and carried out effectively.

World football’s governing body will also evaluate the refereeing landscape and the related strategic objectives in both countries, enabling it to contribute targeted insights alongside a big-picture perspective. Furthermore, its experts will take a hands-on role in the sessions and other activities organised.

Running until June 2022, this is the third such collaboration on pivotal aspects of football development to have been launched in the Americas region, following the Honduran FA’s tie-up with its Spanish counterpart and the agreement between the Cuban and Brazilian FAs.

SUWON, SOUTH KOREA - MAY 24: Referee Roddy Zambrano gestures during the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 group D match between South Africa and Italy at Suwon World Cup Stadium on May 24, 2017 in Suwon, South Korea. (Photo by Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)