Twenty-five Tongan referees had the opportunity to upskill at their latest FIFA MA Futsal Referees Course, the first-ever done in person by a FIFA Futsal Referees Instructor.  

Ken Wallace, who is based in New Zealand, travelled to Nuku’alofa, Tonga to facilitate the course between September 26-30.

Wallace was assisted by local Tonga Football Association (TFA) referee instructors Ichikawa Polovili, Lynette Sifa and Siutaisa Tu’itupou as part of their ongoing learning process as instructors.

The event covered various topics surrounding the Futsal Laws of the Game and interpretation, futsal refereeing techniques and group discussions indoors.

The participants also went through fitness drills as part of their preparation and a full fitness test as a compulsory part of the course, while fun games were also included.

Wallace said he enjoyed witnessing the improvement of Tonga overall since his last time visiting the country 20 years ago.

“I saw the improvement of TFA’s infrastructure, the pitches, academy, administration offices and the commencement of the grandstand,” Wallace said.

“I also enjoyed witnessing the contribution of the local referee instructors and their improvement from the first day to the last.

“The hard work, laughter and smiles of the participants as well as coming together through singing hymns before each day started was good to be a part of.”

TFA Head of Refereeing Tevita Vea expressed the importance of having someone of Wallace’s expertise.

“Ken is a very experienced referee instructor and has been for many years,” Vea said.

“During my time as a FIFA referee, I was mentored by him as my referee instructor and assessor. I know him very well and am keen to continue learning from his experiences.”

Ken Wallace delivering at the course. Credit: TFA Media.