Local Match Officials Lauded for Completing FIFA Referees Course

FIFA officials and local match officials participate in a practical workout
FIFA officials and local match officials participate in a practical workout

THE Saint Lucia Football Association [SLFA] Inc. is pleased with the performance of the participants from the recent FIFA Referees Course, which was held here, from March 23 to 25.

The sessions, which consisted of theoretical and practical workouts were facilitated by FIFA Referee Development Officer, Javier Santos, and FIFA Referee Instructors Joe Audi and Roan Thobourne. Notably, seven local instructors and 25 local referees participated in the course.

At last week’s closing ceremony, SLFA President Lyndon Cooper said he was heartened with the outcome of the workshop that helped upgrade the competences of these match officials.

“The SLFA has a developmental plan to ensure that both the referees and assistant referees, and the instructors grow, in order to achieve our overall objective,” he said.

According to Cooper, getting the referees programme “off the ground” will result in “an upward movement for the SLFA.”

He remains steadfast in pursuit of the SLFA’s Legacy Framework and Development Plan.

Cooper recalled that the SLFA had to make necessary interventions and changes to update the prior courses which did not meet the requirements of FIFA “and ensure that we were on path with what that had to be re-created.”

He added, “We then took a policy decision at the SLFA to go and redo, to re-think and to re-position.”

The SLFA president said that following the post-Covid 19 era and other external disruptions in the global market, the agency was able to stage a comprehensive workshop for the match officials.

Over time, he said, there has also been an increase in the number of females participating in the referees’ course.

Cooper acknowledged the input of the FIFA instructors for upgrading the standards of these match officials.

On participants performance, he said, “That’s a group that has done very well, particularly the local instructors and by extension the other (match) officials.”
Looking ahead and to underline the SLFA’s commitment to upgrading the ability of its match officials, Cooper said, there will be a “re-modernization of the referees department.”

He said such commendable responses indicate that the SLFA “understands what has to be done. Change does not come overnight and we remain committed in ensuring that we fully establish the Referees Department before the end of 2024.”

In assessing the participants, FIFA’s Referee Development Officer Santos noted that there has been “big improvements” in the abilities of the match officials.
He said over the duration of the workshop, the participants demonstrated a willingness “to learn and develop their techniques…and this is very good, very positive.”

Santos added: “You have opportunities to partake in more tournaments, not just in the Caribbean, but also CONCACAF and in FIFA Leagues. You have the quality to do it you just apply it, work every single day and set your own goals.”

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