Four officials from Oceania were selected to attend the FIFA Referees Workshop between November 1-5 in Doha, Qatar as part of preparations for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.  

Fifty two match officials participated in the event, including New Zealand duo Matthew Conger and Mark Rule, along with David Yareboinen from Papua New Guinea. 

Bernard Mutukera (Solomon Islands) was unable to attend due to travel restrictions, despite being among those selected.  

The intensive programme focussed on three key pillars; technical and tactical aspects, fitness and medical. 

Each day consisted of three-hour interactive classroom sessions on topics such as field positioning and reading the game, challenges and tactical fouls, offside and Video Assistant Referee intervention, followed by practical sessions where feedback was given by FIFA instructors.  

Fitness tests were also conducted and evenings were spent completing medical checks and receiving recovery massages.   

Conger, who has officiated at eight FIFA tournaments, said it’s always a huge honour to be selected as an attendee.  

“The workshop was a great chance for us to see colleagues we haven’t seen in a while and greet new people to the programme,” Conger said.  

“Positive energy and high levels of performance were seen from the entire refereeing group.  

“I focussed on joy throughout my time in Doha. Joy to be selected, joy to be training with an elite group and joy to represent my family, country, colleagues and myself.  

“Overall it was a fantastic experience and I am looking forward to the next opportunity.”