More local refs are needed

The Cayman Islands Referee Association is offering a course to anyone on the island both men and female, young and old, who are interested in becoming qualified assistant referees.

These courses are in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Football Association.

These organisations are looking for additional referees to cover all levels of football primarily within the Cayman Islands.

Whether someone aspires to be an assistant ref at the World Cup finals or just to help their local leagues, everyone is invited to participate in this course.

The course starts 6pm at the George Town Primary School and will run from September 15-18. All recently trained assistant referees are also invited to attend as a means of refreshing their skills.

The football season kicks off later this month will see the introduction of the island’s most prestigious competition, the Premier League.

Presently there is a limited amount of referees on the island and in addition to this there will be a First Division League, the Women’s Senior League and many other youth and local domestic leagues. This situation leaves the present number of officials on the island almost totally exhausted.

CIRA is on a drive to identify persons who wish to take officiating seriously and reach to the highest FIFA level.

The Cayman Islands has a mushrooming football culture and the potential to become a top official is enormous. The course is free of charge.

Currently serving FIFA assistant referee Livingston Bailey said that he is encouraging everyone who is interested to take the first step in participating in this course and stay focused as he or she could very well be the first FIFA representative from the Cayman Islands to officiate in a World Cup game.

Several officials from the Cayman Islands have made their mark at the international level such as Godfrey Bowen who officiated in the biggest game in the Caribbean region in 2003 between Jamaica and the USA.

One other local referee, Alfredo Whittaker, Cayman Islands National team renowned goalkeeper became a FIFA referee.

Whittaker was welcomed to the FIFA family early in 2003 by FIFA General Secretary Dr. Urs Linsi. Another top local official is Francisco Coelho.

These referees started their careers in the Cayman Islands; refereeing in youth and senior football and have made it on the international scene.

It can be a very rewarding hobby and the opportunity is there to turn this into a profession at the highest levels, for anyone with the talent and the time.

For more information on this course contact the CIFA office on 949-5775, CIRA’s General Secretary on 9174186 or Livingston Bailey on 926-2899.

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