CONCACAF continues raising refereeing standards

The Confederation is joining efforts with FEMEXFUT to implement Program of Refereeing Excellence

TOLUCA, Mexico - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación (FEMEXFUT) continued their joint effort to improve the standard of football within the region through the Program of Refereeing Excellence. The Confederation kicked off the second part of the program that is taking place in the new facilities of FEMEXFUT in Toluca, Mexico.

Thirteen referees are participating in the initiative that consists of two four-week sessions: the Introductory Course, which began in February 2017; and a Certification Course that will finalize on Monday, October 2, 2017. 

Top national-level referees are being trained by professional referees from Mexico as well as FIFA Instructors. Participants will be assigned selected games to officiate in one of the lower divisions of FEMEXFUT, commensurate with their level of refereeing. 

As part of CONCACAF’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), AFC Director of Refereeing Shamsul Maidin has joined the program to exchange best practices on the development and improvement of refereeing. Additionally, guest referee Ahmed Darwish from the United Arab Emirates is participating in the course. 

"The CONCACAF Program for Refereeing Excellence is crucial to raise the standards of football and professional refereeing within our region," said Brian Hall, Director of Refereeing at CONCACAF. "On the occasion of this Certification course, we are very grateful to have the opportunity of collaborating with the AFC to exchange best practices to further develop refereeing, while providing innovative tools to referees in order to improve their performance on the field." 

“The program is a good model for other confederations to develop young talent,” said Maidin, former FIFA World Cup referee, FIFA Referee Instructor and AFC Elite Referee Assessor. “As CONCACAF, AFC is a very diverse region consisting of 46 Member Associations. This program provides a significant opportunity to identify how referees from different countries and cultures, can receive one direction to improve their professionalism, change the mentality and reach the top-level of refereeing.” 

“We have been training very hard every day and learning from different sessions on and off the field,” said Darwish. “The program is focused on achieving a high-level of refereeing, I would like to share this experience when returning to the UAE.”

 Officials are having customized access to FEMEXFUT’s educational resources, including special sessions on technical, physical, psychological, and nutritional aspects. In addition, participants are required to pass the FIFA Referee Fitness Test prior to the commencement of both courses.