As football continues to grow and embrace new techniques and technology, the demands for all aspects of the game to develop and improve have become an important necessity.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has taken the first step in professionalising refereeing in the continent with a selection of a pilot group of 20 referees who will be contracted for a period of one year.
This is arranged in a semi-professional project that will see the referees put on a contract and given training facilitation.
Eighteen male referees and two female referees have been selected for this maiden project.
“Footballers and coaches are now professionals and it is only referees who are still amateur,” said Caf Refereeing manager Eddy Maillet.
“There was a need to upgrade our referees and put them in the professional category as well.”
In selecting the first group for the project, the Caf refereeing committee has one eye cast on the 2022 Fifa World Cup, and African representatives for the tournament will be picked from this group of 20.
Maillet explains that in picking the initial group of 20, the Refereeing Experts sought to strike a balance between the six Caf Zones while age, competency and performance in the past top level games, Vide Assistant Referee (VAR) compatibility, physical condition and technical abilities were also considered.
“They will have monthly allowances and we will assign two instructors in each of the six CAF Zones to work with them physically and technically, added Maillet.
“We will supply them with equipment, and they will be monitored and have sessions on Zoom with monthly assessments.”
The training will help the arbitrators to match up with the ever-evolving nature of the game especially in terms of physical demands.
By FARPost Reporter