The Laws of the Game have been put under the microscope in the Cook Islands this week, with twenty referees taking part in a FIFA MA Referee course at the Aitutaki Football Association Technical Centre in Aitutaki.
Singapore-based FIFA Instructor John Chia, CIFA RDO and Technical Instructor Maara Kaukura and OFC Referee Development Officer Neil Poloso are working together to lead the course, and have been impressed with enthusiasm shown so far by the 15 men and five women selected to participate.
“On the first day participants were very enthusiastic and keen to listen and learn the new changes to the Laws of the Game,” Poloso said.
The objective of the course is to help the participants gain a deeper understanding of the interpretation and application of the new changes to the Laws of the Game, understand the concept on the technical analysis of various topics, and participate in practical field training and new fitness tests.
OFC Head of Referee’s Department Kevin Stoltenkamp is confident that achieving these objectives will give the participants an indication of where they stand and what they need to achieve to reach the next level of refereeing.
“Basically, the goal is to show them the new interpretation of the laws because from 2017 these new changes come into effect, but more importantly the course is dealing with the development of these referees,” he said.
“These aren’t high performance referees, so they’re being shown what’s expected to get to the next level. Hence, they’re doing a fitness test so they know how hard they have to work in order to go into the next level,” he added.
“Doing this shows them exactly where they are and gives them a better understanding of the Laws of the Game, and will also show them that fitness is important because it helps concentration, and as a result of concentrating and being fit, you can get a better angle, you can be close to play, and you can make your decision.”
The FIFA MA Referee course was officially opened by CIFA President and FIFA Council member Lee Harmon on 3 October and will continue until 7 October.
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