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Young referees receive guidance

In Vanuatu the essential role of officials on the pitch has been recognised by FIFA assistant referee and referee fitness trainer Michael Joseph, who is hosting sessions every Wednesday evening for young up-and-coming referees.
Joseph has an extensive knowledge of the game and his experience includes participating in matches at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the OFC Nations Cup 2012 and Stage 3 of the Oceania qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
He has 15 young referees who join him weekly with the youngest, aged just 11-years-old, having already officiated in several matches in Port Vila.
“Becoming a referee demands commitment, a fair degree of fitness and most definitely a sense of humour,” Joseph says.
“The referee’s job is an almost thankless task – get the decisions right and it’s exactly what you are expected to do, but make an incorrect call and you’ll be in for some stick. But still people with a love of the game make the decision to become a referee.
“Our league in Port Vila is the strongest in Vanuatu and you can see that nearly everyone in the stadium knows the basic laws of the game because when you miss an offside or a foul – everyone yells at you.”
He says there are two important areas that every referee must have a thorough understanding of – Knowledge of the Laws and Application of the Laws.
“Referees have to study hard, train hard and put that into practice in match situations before they’ll finally have earned the right to call themselves a referee.
“And if your ambition is higher you could even find yourself climbing the ladder to become a top referee capable of officiating at Premier League matches or even higher.”
Joseph’s advice for anyone interested in refereeing is to simply give it a go.
“You never know who you might end up blowing the whistle on,” he says.
For more on Vanuatu football go to www.vanuafoot.vu


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