Referees eager for start of year-end football tournaments

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The Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) match officials have completed their preparations for the year-end trio of senior competitions, with the GFF Refereeing Department providing expert physical, match scenario and technical sessions with professionally trained instructors to ensure the safe and well-managed return to play.

Recent sessions at the GFF National Training Centre in Providence have seen 25 shortlisted match officials taking part in theoretical classes, covering competition rules and guidelines, recent changes to the Laws of the Game and COVID-19 protocols in line with government regulations.

The group also took part in physical training and match scenarios on the FIFA-funded all-weather pitch to put their learning into action.

“It is customary for these major tournaments that, prior to the commencement of that tournament, we organise these sessions, so that our referees can become familiar with the competition regulations,” said GFF Head of Refereeing and Executive Committee member Dion Inniss.

“We issued a number of reminders on procedures that will be followed during the tournament, and we also ensured they were brought up to speed with the COVID-19 regulations that have been stipulated by the authorities,” Inniss continued.

“They assimilated quite well all that was instructed by our group of competent instructors, and we are very confident that they will officiate these tournaments very well.”

The GFF Refereeing Department has been highly active this year, providing training and workshops for match officials involving national and international instructors, in order to keep its cohort of registered referees and assistant referees up to date on the Laws of the Game and physically prepared for competition.

“Returning to football has been great. I would have done a few youth games in the U-13 tournament, which was a great initiative by the GFF to have youths playing some football at the grassroots, not just for players but the referees,” said workshop participant Shavin Greene.

“Now that we are having the year-end tournament coming into play, it’s most welcome,” Greene said.

“Training and preparation so far has been great and we have tried to stay active and keep fit throughout the pandemic. We’re ready to go and let’s have a great tournament from both the referees and the players.”

The year-end football festival kicks off this weekend with the GFF Women’s Super 16 Festival 2021, which will start on December 11 and draw to a close on January 2.

The GFF-K&S Super 16 Cup follows hot on the heels of the Women’s tournament, being played between December 12 and January 1, while the GFF-K&S Futsal Championship will take place over the period December 14 to January 8.

“It’s great to have football restarting,” said match official Denisha Isaacs.

“It’s a great initiative for the upcoming players and referees. The preparation for this tournament was very challenging due to the COVID pandemic, but we had grassroots sessions and the annual referees’ assessment programme. Now, with the help of our local and international instructors, it’s great to see everyone out again and looking forward to a really good tournament.”

Since September 2020, the GFF has been running its nationwide “Get Involved” campaign to recruit more referees for both Men’s and Women’s football for all age groups.

For more details, please contact the GFF Refereeing Department. (GFF)

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