Also taking advantage of the chance to gain some top level experience was Vanuatu futsal referee Love Lui Malenarave who made his international debut last week.
Having spent the past seven years developing his skills at home in Vanuatu’s national league the five day tournament has inspired the young official to work towards FIFA accreditation in the sport.
“Initially I never thought about becoming a FIFA accredited referee but the outcome now is that I look forward to getting my FIFA badge sometime next year,” Malenarave says.
“Taking part in this tournament is a fortunate challenge for me to prove to my instructors and Oceania assessors that I am ready to work towards getting my badge.”
Working alongside some of OFC’s top futsal officials, as well as two AFC referees Darius Turner and Ryan Shepheard from Australia, Malenarave says has been excellent for building his skills.
“I’ve learned a lot from the other officials taking part, especially those from AFC, because of the skills that they have and their knowledge and experience,” he says.
After acting as timekeeper for two matches on days one and two of the tournament, Malenarave made his debut as second referee during Thursday’s encounter between New Zealand and New Caledonia. He was third referee in the game between Australia and New Zealand on Friday and rounded out his tournament in the match-up between New Caledonia and the NZ Invitational teams.
While he notched up a number of matches, the most memorable will remain his first as second referee in the international between New Zealand and New Caledonia.
“Before the match the OFC referee assessor Massimo Ravino from Tahiti told us ‘refereeing is not a science it is an art, so when you go into the field enjoy the game, don’t panic, don’t feel frightened but go with the flow of the game and enjoy it’. So with his advice I just enjoyed the game,” Malenarave says.
“To officiate my first match was good fun, I really enjoyed it. It was my first international match and at the end of the day I was quite happy with that.”
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