Forty two referees gained new qualifications in Tonga last week after taking part in referee courses held on the islands of Vava’u and ‘Eua.
Twenty two participants took part in the OFC Referees Level 1 course at Lolomana’ia Park, facilitated by TFA Referee Development Officers Kolinisiasi Vakatapu and Teiapa’a Tu’itavuki, while 20 referees made up the MA Referees Level 2 course in ‘Eua.
Level two consisted of various fitness drills and practical sessions with the aim to be consistent and accurate when applying the Laws of the Game.
TFA Referee Technical Directors facilitated the course with the assistance of TFA Referee Development Officer Tevita Vea who gave feedback on performances.
Vea said it is a positive to have so much youth within Tonga’s match officiating ranks right now.
“I’m happy with the progress we are making in the refereeing space in Tonga,” Vea said.
“The majority of our referees are high school and college students and I believe they come from our basic workshops delivered in schools, which shows we’re doing something right in development.
“By January 2022 we are expecting all TFA Referees at club level to be independent, meaning they are no longer playing or connected to a club.”
‘Aisake Foliaki, an independent referee, said his main takeaway from the level two workshop was having a better understanding of the Laws of the Game.
“The main priority for me is to apply my knowledge confidently during a football match,” Foliaki said.
“I understand that it will take time, but I am ready for the challenges ahead to become a good referee.
“I enjoyed the ongoing practical sessions and am thankful for an opportunity such as this on the island of ‘Eua.”