refresher for refs

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Absa Premiership and National First Division match officials will converge on Pretoria tomorrow for the yearly workshop at the High Performance Centre.

It ends on Tuesday.

The workshop is vital to the match officials because it updates them on the new rules of the game. The referees also use the workshop to refresh themselves about general rules of the game of billions.

The South African Football Association (Safa) will also use the workshop to review the past season.

Carlos Henriques, Safa's head of referees, told Sowetan yesterday that they will also discuss ways of improving the standard of referees for the new campaign.

"The workshop will help us to identify mistakes our match officials committed last season and try to come up with solutions," he said.

It will be conducted by Keith Hackett who is in charge of English Premiership referees.

The workshop comes barely four days after Safa hosted a successful two-day Fifa fitness test at the Johannesburg Stadium.

Fifa physical instructor Toshio Utsumi, who conducted the fitness test, hailed the national controlling body for its organisational ability.

The tests were conducted on African referees who have been selected to handle soccer matches at the Beijing Olympics next month.

"I was extremely satisfied with the professional attitude and competence of the local Safa testing staff. They were one of the best, if not the best I have seen so far," noted Utsumi.

The respected Japanese instructor was also impressed with the team spirit of the participants.

Kirsten Nematandani, Safa's national referees' committee chairman, described the hosting of the test as a milestone for the organisation.

"It is recognition by Fifa and CAF of the high standards and expertise that South Africa has to offer and the confidence in Safa to get things done," he said.