Concacaf Refereeing Department kicks off 2023 initiatives
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Concacaf Refereeing Department kicks off 2023 initiatives

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MIAMI, Florida – Earlier this month the Concacaf Refereeing Department kicked off its development initiatives for 2023 with multiple events held in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

It all started with the Concacaf Winter Refereeing Seminar, which features Concacaf’s Elite and First Tier Men and Women Referees and Video Match Officials, with the objective of evaluating and preparing the confederation’s top referees and VAR instructors for their upcoming competitions.

This invaluable seminar was held over three days and featured training of all kinds, including theoretical, technical and practical field training, along with VAR Simulator sessions led by top FIFA and Concacaf Refereeing Instructors.

Match Officials also underwent a series of examinations highlighted by topic-based video quizzes, an IFAB laws of the game test, group discussion and a physical fitness test.

As part of an effort to be more inclusive and accessible with referees from the region and Concacaf’s Member Associations, the afternoon technical classroom sessions were streamed online for the first time for all FIFA Match Officials and Concacaf Assessors within the region.

These sessions were also recorded and supplemented with additional educational materials for Referees to use as resources.

Among the attendees in Guatemala City were the 34 first-year FIFA Referees and Assistant Referees for 2023, who then participated in their own seminar, focusing on technical education  and administrative responsibilities related to appointments in Concacaf.

In addition to these seminars, the first edition of the Concacaf Referee Academy took place at the same time in Guatemala, featuring 14 talented referees in projection to achieve FIFA status.

The 14 referees – 10 men and four women – spanned from 13 different MAs. These Academy attendees were able to attend the final day of the Winter Refereeing Seminar and participated in the groups discussion with the Elite and First Tier referees.

Eight of the 14 Academy participants then had the opportunity to officiate in Guatemala at the 2023 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship, plus matches in the Guatemalan Men’s Third Division and the Women’s Professional levels, providing an unforgettable and motivation experience for years to come.