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Futsal referees under the spotlight

OFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Development Officer Paul Toohey says with four FIFA Futsal Refereeing Courses on the calendar as well as the FIFA Futuro Refereeing Instructor Course, it shows the clear desire to improve knowledge and skills across the board.
“With around 28,000 registered players in the OFC region and futsal competitions in operation in most Member Associations, the demand for qualified referees is increasing all the time,” Toohey explains.
“We’re delighted in the OFC Technical Department that Mark Hester has come on board in the last year as OFC Referee Development Officer, and particularly for futsal – as it has been a quiet couple of years in terms of futsal referee development.
“So with great support from FIFA and Mark we will see well over 100 referees participate in courses and go on to work at local level this year.
“And I would hope a number of those referees can go on to achieve higher honours as well in national and international competitions.”
Toohey believes the opportunity is certainly there for those referees with drive and talent to make the step up to the FIFA Futsal World Cup, as has been the case in beach soccer.
“For sure we already have referees in the region who aspire to the top level. Hugo Pado officiated at the most recent edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and in futsal Amitesh Behari from Fiji has officiated at two FIFA Futsal World Cups.
“We have recently seen the appointment of Chris Sinclair of New Zealand to FIFA’s panel of futsal referees. It’s terrific to see Chris’ dedication and hard work rewarded and I am sure this year a new wave of officials will emerge during the FIFA courses.”
OFC Member Associations that will welcome FIFA Futsal Refereeing Courses in 2015 include Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands.

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