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Fifa course helps hone skills of women referees

Women referees.
Women referees.
Image: SAFA

World football governing body Fifa, in conjunction with the South African Football Association (Safa), hosted a national women referees course this week.

This took place at Safa House with the participants drawn from all nine provinces.

The intensive course comes at an appropriate time as women referees are set to be in high demand due to the impending kickoff of the national women's league, which is scheduled to start this month.

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Participants went through the laws of the game, with emphasis on the latest amendments.

The fitness levels of members was also part of the process as all participants were put through some rigorous processes.

The integrated practical sessions with players took place at the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus and the Nike Centre, also in Soweto.

Fifa senior referees manager Kari Seitz took charge of the course and has been assisted by Tracey Lovell and Refilwe Tshigeng (both physical instructors), as well as Abdul Ebrahim (technical instructor) and Dawn Lubisi (course administrator).

"Safa is thankful for the support which Fifa is providing to the association in empowering our female referees.

Akhona Makalima
Akhona Makalima

"They have sent one of their senior officials to our shores to ensure that our women referees get the best on the latest in refereeing trends," said Natasha Tsichlas, Safa's chairperson of the referees committee.

"Refereeing is not static, there are positive changes all the time, and our referees need to be up to the task and not be left behind."

The Premier Soccer League's only woman referee at the moment is Akhona Makalima. The first woman to referee a PSL match was Deidre Mitchell.

Born in Port Elizabeth, Mitchell took charge of the match between Kaizer Chiefs and Santos, which was played in her home town on April 22 2007.

- Safa.net with additional reporting by Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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