FIFA’s affiliate, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is one of the few nations in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) that has been facilitating the FIFA-Referee Assistance Programme (RAP) for consecutive years and according to FIFA’s Technical Instructor of the RAP, Peter Prendergast, nine consecutive years has seen progress in the level of officiating in the country.
That was noted during an invited comment from the Jamaican Prendergast at the close of the five-day RAP seminar at the Critchlow Labour College, yesterday. “This is the best that we have had in terms of the organisation and certainly the best level of instructions by the local instructors in the training which had 35 participants, so it was really well done”, Prendergast told Kaieteur Sport yesterday afternoon.
When weighing the pros and cons, Prendergast highlighted that, “The physical capacity, their willingness to learn and execute are the main positives of the local officials while there is room for improvement in the support the officials receive; more support in terms of training courses both locally and regionally.”
He elaborated that an entire recruitment drive which will increase the number of referees that are servicing the game in Guyana is desperately needed stating Guyana does not have enough competition among referees due to the low numbers so if an official fails a fitness test for instance, that official will still be called to a game, regardless.
Prendergast posited that the lack of support for match officials is not so irregular in the CFU: “It’s a common situation among the region where referees are treated as the bastard child and we need to change that culture because the referees are a part of the game and should be seen as such and treated as such.”
The RAP is a capacity building programme which seeks to create uniformity among referees and enable same to meet the demands of the game.
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