Cayman’s own FIFA referee Alfredo Whittaker has been selected to officiate at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup Finals.
Whittaker, along with his colleagues from a variety of other CONCACAF regions, will officiate matches scheduled for Group A between July 6th and 11th, at the Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami, Florida. There is however, a great possibility that Whittaker could be away longer since the tournament runs until July 24th.
Group A teams include national squads from Columbia, Panama, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago, while other participating referees and assistants hail from Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, Surinam, Costa Rica and the Bahamas.
‘Congratulations are in order for Alfredo and all of the Cayman Islands referee fraternity,’ said CIFA President Jeffrey Webb ‘…the selection of a referee from the Cayman Islands to officiate in this major tournament demonstrates CONCACAF’s confidence in his ability to perform. This is not only an opportunity for Alfredo to serve as an ambassador for the Cayman Islands but also to demonstrate the caliber of referee that can be produced with determination and hard work.’
This will be Alfredo’s eighth appointment as a FIFA referee, he has previously officiated matches in the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, Jamaica and St. Kitts. This match he says will be of great significance for him being his first stint as an official in the United States. ‘Every referee’s ultimate goal is to be selected as an official for the FIFA World Cup. This is just another step in my journey towards that goal…I am pleased that all my hard work is being recognized and rewarded.’
Alfredo who played with local club Scholars International for many years got involved as a referee after his club selected him to participate in a CIFA referee course. From there he says that fellow local FIFA referee Godfrey Bowen and former FIFA referee Ian Philips played important roles in his going the extra mile to become a FIFA referee himself.