When it comes to refereeing, Nation builds a career

Jamaican referee Oshane Nation (pictured) is taking part in the Program of Refereeing Excellence in Mexico.

TOLUCA, Mexico -- Oshane Nation has always wanted a future in football. The path he has taken, however, isn’t necessarily the expected one.

But from a chance meeting with a CONCACAF referee assessor, the 26-year-old Jamaican has put his playing days behind him and fully embraces what he calls a ‘limitless future’ as a referee.

“My first goal is to try to improve my skills on a daily basis,” Nation told CONCACAF.com. “It’s about persistent improvement. Secondly, I want to achieve as much as possible. There’s no limit to what I want to achieve.”

Nation said he’s been nurtured back home by friends, family and mentors, including Mark Sullivan, the FIFA instructor who planted the seed, as well as well as Peter Prendergast, Dave Neagle and Victor Stewart in his early days of refereeing. He realizes that at times it’s a thankless job and there’s criticism from the touchline to the stands and the press box.

It’s that support that has molded Nation, who played cricket and football when he was younger, into a better official with a greater understanding of the game.

“It’s not about being on the field alone. It’s also about off the field. I’m more of a role model now than I was before,” Nation said. “There are many factors to the game I’ve improved a lot in, including management of the game and how I manage players. The game is about management.”

Nation is looking to take the next step in his career as part of CONCACAF’s Program of Refereeing Excellence (PORE) which is working in conjunction with the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol (FMF) in the eight-week training course in Mexico.

“First of all, it’s a privilege and an honor to be part of this group of referees in Mexico,” said Nation, who was the referee for an under-17 match between Club America and Puebla on February 11. “There are 13 of us that have been chosen from CONCACAF and I’m fortunate enough to be one of the 13. The experience so far is tremendous, it is first world standard. I’ve learned so much in a short time.”