EIGHTEEN local referees participated in the most recent FIFA Referees Assistance Programme (RAP) course hosted by the TT Football Association (TTFA) in Couva last week. Javier Santos, FIFA representative and referees development officer for the English-speaking Concacaf countries, manager of referees in the Caribbean Dave Meikle, FIFA technical instructor Esse Baharmast and FIFA fitness instructor Alan Browne were among those overseeing the week-long course.
“The benefits of a course like this is the students or participants get the latest information on the game. We are also looking for the next generation of referees that we can take to Concacaf and FIFA so this comes like a scouting process also,” said Baharmast.
“We are also looking to see that everything is going according to plan because we are looking for excellence and looking for the referees who can officiate at the highest level. There are lots of high standards in place fitness tests given and making sure that everyone achieves the levels and standards that FIFA has set and looking for the next World Cup and Gold Cup referee that we can find.
“What is needed now is a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, a lot of discipline, keeping up with the latest whether it be from fitness, technical, knowledge of the laws, nutrition and anything that a top athlete needs to prepare for the next level. Those are the sort of things we talked to them about day in day out,” he added.
Baharmast said that the FIFA instructors have a fair idea of the quality of the local referees and they will continue to monitor their progress.
“We have some FIFA referees who we see in the tournaments in Concacaf so we know who they are and we know exactly what we are dealing with. There are some who have been to the programme of referees excellence so we have already seen them as well and there are other ones who are coming along.
“The key is to ensure that they pass the fitness tests which is the first obstacle they have to overcome. It’s like having a passport before you want to travel and once they have that then we look at their interaction in the classroom, their opinions on how they see a game and how they answer. (Recently) we looked at some matches on video and from there on we can pick and choose who we are going to take to the next tournament whether it be a club or youth tournament,” Baharmast said.
Participating Referees – Caleb Wales, Glenroy Dennis, Shash Ramsaroop, Kwinsi Williams, Nikolai Nyron, Kevin Lewis, Kirt Charles, Joseph Bertrand, Keilon Bacchus, Kern Thom, Juliane McDougal, Evelyn Douglas-Jacob, Cecile Hinds, Rodphin Harris, Ainsley Rochard, Keron Myers, Timothy Derry, Joel Cox.
Local MA Instructors – Michael Ragoonath, Jaggernath Goolcharan, Mentor Baptiste, Joseph Taylor, Julien Drayton, Cindy Mohammed (local instructor) and Wayne Caesar (head of TTFA Refereeing Department).