FOR some time now there has been a call for major improvement to the standard of officiating in Saint Lucia’s football, at all levels.
With that said, rest assured football fans in Saint Lucia will have to wait a bit longer for equipment such as the Spider Cam, Hawk Eye, Hot Spot and Goal Line Technologies. But in the meantime, the Saint Lucia Football Association will have to work with what it has presently, which is the human resource.
At a press conference held last week at the SLFA Inc. headquarters in La Clery to remedy the situation affecting the beautiful game, SLFA Referee Development Officer, Mc Millan Medar said, “We have a select group of six individuals (referees) who will undergo intensive training in preparation to facilitate nomination to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) panel of referees.
They have augmented the training staff to include a physical instructor in the person of Marinus Mark; he is complementing Giles Arthur who is already doing the technical component.”
He added, “Other than the selected six individuals, we have some other individuals/referees in the senior division and new recruits we are looking at as well”.
Medar continued, “In terms of training, we have placed emphasis on the combined six referees and assistant referees namely: Barry Justin, Kim Charlery, Kevin Antoine, Lesroy Joseph, KeveyBarthelmy and Anthony John. The plan is to add another two referees to the elite six in order to have two teams of four so we can assign them together and see how best they could complement each other, and how best we can help them to develop together”.
The training will focus on (1) Laws of the game – emphasis on new law changes, (2) Match management, (3) Physical Fitness, (4) Reporting and Administrative duties, (5) Character building and Personal Development/interaction, (6) Assignment to games and assessment and evaluation as an overall outlook in terms of preparing those specific individuals for potential positioning on the FIFA panel.
According to Medar, there will be continuous training and evaluation including assignment and assessment, and tailored training to respond to the deficiencies observed.
In terms of successes, the SLFA recently conducted a fitness test, the results of which Medar said were not overwhelmingly successful.
Despite that, he said, “It gave us hope that there seems to be areas of strengths, and it also helped to determine what more we need to improve upon”.
He added, “We made nominations to CONCACAF for the Under-15 boy’s tournament currently taking place in Miami, Florida but unfortunately none of our nominees was accepted; this is not too surprising because we have been lagging behind for some time now in terms of our rebuilding process. We need to intensify to ensure around that same time next year (2020) we will be able to send nominees that will be accepted by CONCACAF”.
“In moving forward, the SLFA President Lyndon Cooper has already proposed a training programme for our instructors and assessors through the Referee Assistance Programme (RAP). It’s an annual programme supported by FIFA that is scheduled for September. We will be exposing a number of individuals to the new techniques and methodologies,” noted Medar.