THE Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Referees Assistance Programme (RAP) opened todat at the Racquet Centre in Georgetown with stern calls by Referee Instructor Peter Prendergast for a re-energised commitment to personal development.
During the opening address, the Jamaican Prendergast told the gathering that “since 2006 we have not had a referee on the list for the World Cup. Since 2006! That’s a long time. And we have far more information, far more training programmes and we are not seeing someone from the Caribbean. We barely had one in the Gold Cup.”
He continued, “We have to raise our own standards. It is a personal commitment.”
President of the Guyana Football Referees Council (GFRU) Alfred King in giving his remarks welcomed the programme for a fifth year.
He said, “Every time they come here, they give of their best and provide quality experiences to ensure that our referees are prepared to go to the next level of becoming elite referees.
“But of course, the experience that they provide can only enhance your technical competence as referees. Very often the rest is left to you to put in the hard work and physical training and development.”
He, much like Prendergast, noted the failure of referees to maintain the standards needed to stay at the top level of the game.
Prendergast and Alan Brown, FIFA Referee Fitness Instructor, will be conducting the RAP which includes simulations, fitness test, a written test and evaluation.
The RAP is designed to help professionalise the environment in which referees work and develop by pairing referee development officers with instructors from around the world.