The focus on referee development in Papua New Guinea was clear to see at the country’s latest Referee Instructors Course, which drew a large turnout at the end of last month. 

The five-day event saw 33 participants take part and it was also the first time at least one representative from all 18 Papua New Guinean football associations attended.  

The course was split into two groups, one in Port Moresby facilitated by PNGFA instructors Hilliary Ani, Job Minan and Salaiau Sosongan, while PNGFA Referee Development Officer Jimmy Warai was responsible for the group in Lae.  

Solomon Islands based OFC Referee Consultant Neil Poloso was the main facilitator of the course.   

The instructors focused on two main areas, teaching methodology – improving the instructors delivery, usage of the new FIFA Referee Education and Development platform (FIFA Red) and OFC COMET – and technical abilities such as Laws of the Game and key terms in football refereeing. 

Poloso said he was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm shown by the instructors across both groups.  

“I was happy to see the ongoing collaboration between the participants and they were willing to learn,” Poloso said.  

“We conducted 40 percent of the course online and 60 percent was managed offline by the MA instructors. 

“Thank you to the support team in both Port Moresby and Lae for ensuring all offline activities (group practical sessions and individual presentations) were rolled out to our expectations.”    

PNGFA General Secretary Pius Letenge said courses are important for the development of referees and the level of professionalism in the country. 

“It’s our priority as an organisation to have the best referee instructors and referees officiate in our local competitions which is why we continue to host these courses,” Letenge said.  

“Thank you to all the participants for making time to attend the course and I look forward to seeing your journey as a referee instructor.”