Oceania Football Confederation > News > OFC U-17 Championship 2013 > Tongan referee aiming for the top

Tongan referee aiming for the top

One assistant referee who travelled from his native Tonga to Santo to officiate at the competition was former national team captain Folio Moeaki.
An assistant referee for the past six years, Moeaki has been on the FIFA referee’s list for four years and experienced his first international call-ups in 2011, after ending his international playing career.
He says there while he has always enjoyed playing football, it has been a relatively seamless transition to officiating which has continued to offer some amazing opportunities which allow him to remain close to the game at the highest level.
“I came to New Zealand for a course and was told by the former head of the OFC Referee Assistance Programme that if I continued to play football I would never be appointed to officiate,” Moeaki says.
“I like refereeing and while I am currently an assistant, my end goal is to become a referee.”
He says going from officiating in the Tonga National League to an OFC tournament was a steep learning curve.
“I learnt a lot and made a lot of mistakes at my first tournament but I have improved since then. I don’t know when I will make the switch from an assistant to a referee but I will look at it long term. Ultimately I would love to referee at a FIFA World Cup of any kind.”

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