A trio of New Caledonia match officials will lead proceedings at Stade Pater in Tahiti when Group D of the OFC Champions League 2020 gets underway this evening.
Referee Medric Lecour and his assistants Bertrand Brial and Marc Sinyeue have been appointed for the match between Fiji side Ba FC and former champions Auckland City FC of New Zealand.
Of the three, Brial is among the most experienced having taken part in the FIFA World Cup Russia™ 2018 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic in 2017.
Despite having appeared on the biggest stage in the world, the school teacher remains as excited as ever to get the 2020 campaign of Oceania’s premier international club competition underway.
“We’re eager to get started. The Champions League is one of the biggest competition’s in Oceania football and to start the season with it is always incredibly exciting,” Brial explained.
“The level here in Tahiti is expected to be quite high, so the matches will definitely be intense.”
At the back of their minds, according to Brial, is the fact the trio are in the off-season domestically. However knowing the annual competition was on the horizon meant they’ve tried to stay in form despite the Super Ligue being yet to get underway.
“We’re feeling really good physically. We’ve been preparing since December with some lighter sessions at the end of the festive season, and then more intense trainings up until last week. That is, a lot of cardio over short and long distance and some of the fundamentals.”
Having arrived in Tahiti on Thursday evening, the match officials have been taking advantage of the opportunity to collaborate and coordinate on the application of the Laws of the Game with their instructors Massimo Ravenio of Tahiti and Jamie Cross from New Zealand.
“Since we arrived we’re been working on video analysis, decision-making, placement on the field, gestures and so on. We take inspiration from our colleagues and follow the examples being set globally.”
The first match of Group D at the OFC Champions League 2020 will kick off at 17h (local) at Stade Pater in Tahiti between Ba FC and Auckland City FC with the New Caledonia trio taking charge.