Refs still top notch

Cayman’s football match officials were heralded as the second fittest and most competent in the Caribbean behind Jamaica last year when they were tested by two visiting FIFA officials. Yet there was no room for complacency and when the testers returned last weekend they were equally impressed with the results. 

Organised by the Cayman Islands Football Association, women officials joined in with men in the four-day course.  

Alfredo Whittaker is head of the refereeing association in the Cayman Islands. He said: “Over the weekend we concluded the Referee Assistance Programme which was conducted by the instructors Ramesh Ramdhan from Trinidad & Tobago and Peter Prendergast of Jamaica.  

“This course is done pretty much around the world and this was our third course that we hosted. The improvement in the level of fitness and knowledge was tremendous. We were very happy on the fourth day at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex to see the fitness levels all our referees showed and hopefully it will be in evidence on the field of play when our referees officiate.” 

Whittaker hopes the Cayman officials can remain second in the region again. “The Jamaicans have a large group of referees who are really dedicated to the officiating, almost like a semi-pro league. I’m very proud at the level we have our referees and thanks to Livingstone Bailey and Willen Petitte as instructors and with my help as head of the refereeing department we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes. We will soon have a press release out to let the public know what we’ve been doing.” 

Prendergast said: “The Cayman officials have come a long way and I’m pleased to see the efforts of CIFA in helping to ensure that the regulations are being implemented and that the structure will bring forward good results in the end. We always need more officials but I’m happy to see that we have some women involved too. For the first time we might have some female FIFA officials in the near future. We’re happy to see that.” 

FIFA refs Cayman

The referees excelled in the fitness tests again. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD

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