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Warai taking the next step

Papua New Guinea's Jimmy Warai (right) during a practical session at the FIFA FUTURO III course in Auckland this week. Image: OFC Media

After four intense days interpreting the Beautiful Game, Papua New Guinea referee instructor Jimmy Warai is feeling inspired by his new wealth of knowledge has big plans when he returns home from the annual FIFA FUTURO III course in Auckland this week.

Warai has joined 40 other referee instructors in three consecutively-delivered courses – focusing on technical or fitness procedures in either futsal or football – aimed to standardise the interpretation of the laws of the game and give instructors the tools to develop match officials in their member associations.

“The course has been very good. We are learning new things every year when we come for these FUTURO courses. Football is always changing,” Warai said.

“This course is enabling me to come up to a higher standard. I must adapt and evolve to deliver referee training and education at a level that meets the changing demands of modern football.”

Joining his fellow participants only days after completing his assignment as a referee assessor at the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Samoa, Warai has enjoyed applying real-life examples from the competition to content and integrating his experience into the course.

“Being an assessor in the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Samoa was very educational,” he said.

“I gained a lot of experience from that competition because we were working with different levels of referees throughout the tournament. There were several challenges there for me as an assessor and I could also observe the different challenges for the referees.”

The next big challenge for Warai will be passing on his new knowledge back home and ensuring every referee is reached. In a country like Papua New Guinea, he knows this will require a team effort.

“Due to the geography of Papua New Guinea, all of our referees are all over the place,” he said.

“It would be good for us to run a referee instructor course in Papua New Guinea for the local instructors. The country is very big and it is hard for everybody to come to one central location and complete courses and activities.

“If we run an instructors course back in Papua New Guinea it will help us expand our reach and spread the new knowledge.”

Although Warai is aware of the challenging task ahead, he is more eager than ever to inspire change and lift Papua New Guinea refereeing to the world standard.

“With the knowledge I acquire here I will try my best to work through the obstacles of passing on information, like access to internet. I will try find a way,” he said.

“My long-term goal is further development. One day I want to see Papua New Guinea referees at the World Cup.”

The FIFA FUTURO III course will conclude on Saturday 2 September.

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