FIFA course raises standards

Referees in Cayman are now more qualified after the Cayman Islands Football Association hosted a FIFA Referee Course.

It was held from Nov. 5-9 as part of the FIFA Referee Assistance Program at the University College of the Cayman Islands and field sessions were conducted at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex and CIFA field in Prospect.

The local referees were put through the rigors of the FIFA fitness test and intensive field work twice daily, focusing on reading the game, anticipation, positioning and movement.

The FIFA training module focused on more hours of field work. However, time was also spent in the classroom where the concept of the modern game and the interpretation and application of the laws were presented and discussed.

The five days of intensive training, which started at 6:30 a.m., were facilitated by Peter Prendergast, a FIFA referee development officer and FIFA referee instructor.

Prendergast is a former World Cup referee and he was supported by Alan Brown, a FIFA fitness instructor.

Prendergast said, “The main goal of the FIFA Referee Assistance Program is to develop local programmes in the FIFA member associations to raise to professional standards in which international and national referees train and develop, and to unify the way the laws of the game are interpreted and applied throughout the world.”

Prendergast asked the local referees to remain committed beyond this course and change their old way of thinking and adapt to the concepts of the modern game.

Brown reminded the referees that they must make that personal sacrifice to put in the hard work in their physical training to ensure they are fit enough to officiate games.

Acting CIFA President Bruce Blake said he was pleased that FIFA had selected two of its top referee instructors to conduct this course in the Cayman Islands.

He asked the referees to take full advantage of the knowledge gained from this course and use the new knowledge to officiate games better.