The newly revamped Barbados Football Association referees’ recruitment course has produced 11 participants who graduated yesterday at the official closing ceremony held at the BFA’s Wildey, St Michael headquarters.
During his address, general secretary of the BFA Edwyn Wood told the referees this line of work was not for the timid and they must be willing to take criticism whether good or bad.
He also encouraged the referees to know the law, keep fit, remain consistent and carry themselves with dignity if they were to stand out and perform at the highest level, as the association worked towards achieving its 2022 goal of having at least one Barbadian referee officiate in a major world tournament.
“Refereeing is not easy and whether you do a good or a bad job, criticism will come so get used to it. Even if you make a mistake, once you are consistent in your job people will understand. But you have to be consistent, put in the work and remain fair, so operate with some form of dignity in the eyes of the players. You are the arbitrator, you are the person that’s supposed to keep the game at a certain level and you are supposed to carry yourself with dignity and demand respect from the players and spectators at all times,” he said.
The eight-week long programme attracted four females who worked closely under the guidance of member association instructors Sherlock Wall and Trevor Taylor along with FIFA referee, Gillian Martindale.
Speaking during yesterday’s closing ceremony, Taylor told the participants that field training, video analysis, testing the laws of the game were very important steps as they charted their way forward to becoming excellent referees.
The referees were also given food for thought when Taylor with ten years of experience as a referee pointed out that Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the governing body for football in North and Central America and the Caribbean region, did not intend to settle on just being good, but aimed towards excellence.
Added to that, he said the real work had now begun and pleaded with the referees not to be fazed by negativity but to achieve their ultimate goal at whatever level they so aspired to, both locally and internationally.
“The ultimate goal is to perform at a FIFA final, whether it be youth or senior, male or female. Gillian [Martindale] has been to the FIFA under-17 Women’s World Cup in Abidjan, and FIFA assistant Winston Goodridge has been to the Youth Under-17 World Cup in Trinidad, then you have referees that have been to the elite status like myself in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup and that my friend is what you need to aim for. Do not stop at just refereeing premier league, put in the work and you will reap the rewards,” Taylor said.
Nigel Marshall was named most outstanding referee for 2017 and head of the refereeing department at the BFA, Mark Forde, expressed satisfaction with how the course was conducted and said he hoped to see a lot more persons showing an interest in refereeing.