October 1, 2010
Workshop held for Football referees

Local football referees began a ‘Referee Assistance Program’ on Wednesday, September 29 at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex aimed at getting referees more efficient and up to speed on the new laws that govern the game.{{more}}

This is the second referees’ course, with the first having been conducted in 2008.

Osborne Bowens, Press Officer of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF), in his opening remarks, said that the Executive of the SVGFF was cognizant of the importance of effective refereeing.

“There’s no point in us having the most skilful of players and don’t have referees and assistant referees who are going to ensure these players get to exhibit their skills,” Bowens said.

“Games can easily go into disrepute if there are no persons who are going to be efficient in the middle and on the line,” he continued.

However, according to Bowens, it has been a struggle for the local authorities to find suitably qualified persons to become referees.

“We are here on a crusade to uplift refereeing in the region,” stated Ramesh Ramdhan, FIFA Referee Development Officer and one of the two facilitators of the course.

“We have the role and responsibility to professionalize the environment, and if we are looking for different results, we cannot keep operating in the same way,” he continued.

Ramdhan expressed his dissatisfaction with the poor turnout, adding that it was because of his personal development as a referee that he has been successful.

The Trinidadian became the first referee from the region to officiate at a World Cup, having done so in the 1998 finals in France.

“When so much is being made available, it pains me to know that our referees are not accessing what is being made available to them,” Ramdhan said.

He further contended that refereeing had the potential to become a livelihood for some.

“Referees in the last World Cup (2010) got $50,000 US and another $200 US a day for 8 weeks,” Ramdhan said.

“You could easily build a house and buy a car with that. Many of you will work a lifetime and never make that – I can’t see why people can’t see it that way.”

“You can be the best if you put your all into it and not pass it off as just something to do,” he said.

“This is not something else to do. This is the world’s biggest game, and you are a part of it.”

Joint facilitator of the workshop is Peter Pendergrast, FIFA referee instructor.

The workshop concludes this Sunday. (DD)