Referees refresher course concludes

THE four-day Zimbabwe Football Association referees and match commissioners refresher course concluded at Bulawayo’s Hillside Teachers’ College on Sunday.

The course which started on February 1, was meant to help the match officials to get geared up for the forthcoming 2024 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season which is expected to start at the end of February.

The referees’ refresher courses are held after every four months. Former elite referee Norman Matemera, who is the referee’s committee chairperson, said they were pleased that the theory and physical engagements they had went on smoothly.

“It was a successful four-day engagement. Both our theory and physical tests went on well. We also had match-like situations. We were impressed by the commitment that was shown by the match officials,” said Matemera adding that they are hoping to see improved performances from the referees in the coming season.

He said they have enough referees to cover all PSL matches.

The renowned former referee is on record as saying Zifa’s two-year ban from the international football family negatively impacted local referees’ recognition for international assignments.

The country does not have a match official at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations finals that are being hosted by Cote d’lvoire.

“As you are aware, ZIFA has been under ban. Therefore, it means we had no referees on the international panel for the previous two years. Selection of referees for such tournaments is not a one-day event it takes time.

“The selection process starts soon after the previous tournament, and that’s when we got banned in 2021. This means our referees were not in a position to be trained and prepared for AFCON. Technically, our referees are just about ten days on the international panel, so they don’t stand a chance against those who have been prepared for this year’s Afcon for the past two years. Let’s forget about this year’s Afcon and start to work on the next Afcon,” Matemera was recently quoted as saying.


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