THIRTY-THREE Saint Lucian referees were involved in a five-day FIFA Refereeing Course which ended here last Thursday with a presentation of certificates.
The course was held under the auspices of the world governing body, FIFA, and facilitated by Referee Instructor Peter Prendergast of Jamaica. The course also formed part of the SLFA’s determination to continue strengthening the knowledge base of the sport with continuing training opportunities for referees, coaches and administrators.
“Referees are integral part of the game. They are facilitators of the game, not decision-makers in the game. As such, they need to ensure that their role is as such to be facilitators, ensure that there is fair play and the protection of the player is a big part of their responsibility as match officials,” Prendergast said.
Chairman of the Saint Lucia Referees Committee and a Vice President of the Saint Lucia Football Association, Alvin Francis, said the five-day advance course for senior referees also had some junior referees in the mix.
“Our task is to harness whatever talent we see out there. Our nomination on the FIFA list has diminished significantly from six to two. Our aim leading to 2019 is to have at least six FIFA officials on the list. We were very fortunate to have Peter Prendergast in our midst one who has officiated at a World Cup. I simply hope our local referees will continue to work hard at their game to better their act, but our goal is to ensure we have these referees ready for the FIFA list in two years’ time,” he said.