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Next generation of football officials

Saturday 21 October 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Football, Sports


Next generation of football officials
Rakesh Varman, referee’s director for Cook Islands Football Association, left, with Rarotonga referees eager to learn and grow their understanding of the beautiful game. CIFA MEDIA/23101903

The Cook Islands Football Association (CIFA) recently conducted an intensive five-day FIFA Youth Member Association Referees Course from October 2-6, 2023. This specialised training programme aimed to develop the skills and knowledge of young referees and prepare them for the challenges ahead in their football officiating careers.

Led by FIFA instructor Jimmy Warai and fitness instructor Alejo Pérez Leguizamón, the comprehensive course combined theory, practical exercises, and fitness training sessions.

The event attracted referees from various clubs and schools across Rarotonga, eager to learn and grow their understanding of the beautiful game.

Rakesh Varman, referee’s director for Cook Islands Football Association, successfully coordinated all session arrangements, making sure that the playing field, food, and other essential amenities were in place for a seamless learning experience.

During the course, participants engaged in a range of activities that covered numerous technical objectives.

Key aspects of the training included:

  • Keeping up-to-date with recent changes to the laws of football by participating in quizzes and recall questions.
  • Ensuring correct application and interpretation of rule amendments within their specific contexts.
  • Participating in practical exercises with a focus on promoting uniformity and consistency in law application across various levels of competition.

In addition to these technical objectives, the course also encompassed crucial fitness targets aimed at fostering physical growth and health consciousness among referees.

Highlights of this aspect of the programme were:

  • Acquiring knowledge about general fitness training as well as managing a typical training week for football officials.
  • Exchanging information on referee fitness for improved performance and health.
  • Participating in practical exercises that covered key areas such as high intensity, various forms of speed, and recovery techniques.
  • Connecting with fellow participants to build a network of support and share best practices in referee fitness.

In a statement, Cook Islands Football Association said: “Overall, the FIFA Youth MA Referees Course marks a significant step in the development and growth of young football officials within Cook Islands FA. By providing a comprehensive learning experience that combines technical skills, fitness training, and practical exercises, participants are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to excel in their roles as football officials.”

“As the next generation of referees emerges from this training programme, football fans can look forward to witnessing a higher standard of officiating, ensuring that the sport remains captivating and fair for years to come.”