CFU launches next generation referee course

CFU launches next generation referee course

Referees at the 2021 CFU U14 Challenge Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (Photo: CFU Media)
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A total of 25 up-and-coming referees and assistant referees comprise the first cohort for the inaugural Caribbean Football Union Next Generation Referee Course scheduled to take place from July 21-25, 2022 at the Jamaica Football Federation Technical Centre in Kingston, Jamaica.

The CFU Next Generation Referee Course targets Caribbean referees who are not FIFA but who have the requisite abilities to transition to the rank of FIFA in a year or two. The objective of the course is to equip the match officials with the necessary skills needed for effective control of games of higher quality, ultimately leading to their nomination to the FIFA rank. This is an annual event, this year being the first.

The groundbreaking initiative hues to one of the CFU’s strategic objectives in the 2020-2026 Strategic Framework 2.0 under capacity building, which is to have at least one panel of CFU referees represented at every FIFA World Cup.

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The young referees will hone their skills under a five-member elite panel of administrators and course facilitators. Dave Meikle, Concacaf Refereeing Manager, and Peter Prendergast, former FIFA referee and FIFA Technical Instructor, are the course administrators along with FIFA and Concacaf Elite Fitness Instructor Kelesha Antoine, who also serves as a facilitator. The other facilitators are Dianne Ferreira-James, a former FIFA referee now a Concacaf Elite assessor and instructor; Victor Stewart, FIFA and Concacaf instructor and referee assessor; and Rohan Thobourne, Concacaf Fitness Instructor.

CFU President Randolph Harris, speaking of the significance of the Next Generation Referee Course, said, “We have long discussed the need to improve the quality and quantity of the referees from the region and juxtaposed that against our vision for greater representation at every World Cup. This annual course is one way to reach across our membership with a standardised approach. Coupled with other initiatives, including a soon-to-be launched self-paced online course and the other training initiatives that will follow as a natural corollary from the Next Generation Course, we can say with confidence that we are sowing seeds that will have a positive impact.”

Meikle concurred, saying, “The Next Generation Course is quite significant to the Caribbean refereeing set up. It signifies the broadening of the referee pathway and enhances referee development by exposing the participants to a professional environment and high-level training which is geared towards preparing them for the demands of international refereeing.” (www.cfufootball.org)

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