Accra, Oct 8, GNA - Alhaji Rashi Bawa, Minister of State at the Education, Youth and Sport ministry has asked referees to be self-confidence in whatever they do both on and off the pitch as it is the only way they can gain the respect of all associated with the game. Addressing the closing ceremony of a FIFA regional referees inspectors course dubbed "Futuro III" at the Ghanaman Soccer School of Excellence at Prampram, the Minister said confident officiating is so infectious that spectators feel it and are likely to accept the rulings of such referees always in good taste.
He said self-confidence could be gained through knowledge of the ins and outs of their chosen profession and the ability to perceive whatever they do as part of the nation building process.
Mr Bawa said judging from the pace at which football is developing, it is important that referees go through such refresher courses at least once every two years to be in tune with the modern trends of the game. "Indeed as referees, you do not only need to be knowledgeable in the rules and regulations of the game but also the latest developments in techniques, tactics, skills, strategies and formations in the game," he said.
The Minister said this is very important because football is more or less like a religion in most countries and the way it is handled touches the very fabric of people's sensibility and recounted that is not surprising that an outcome of a football match led to a war between two countries.
"Again, the outcome of many other footfall matches have brought fatal consequences and in all these unfortunate circumstances, referees were at the center stage as the lay man's interpretation or misinterpretation of your decision ignites a lot of emotions," he said. "It is therefore very important for you to be knowledgeable and abreast with the rules and regulations of the game and above all enforce them in a fair and firm manner without fear or favour," Alhaji Bawa added.
Opening the ceremony, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, Chairman of the Management Board of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) told the referee inspectors that they owe it a duty to mother Africa to help reduce the controversies often associated with officiating.
He asked them to resolve that the experience gained from the course would reflect positively in officiating on the continent. Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe said it is gratifying that under the auspices of FIFA; the inspectors have gained this opportunity to sharpen their skills and share their experiences in the noble practice of refereeing.
Mr Sampon Kablan, FIFA Development Officer for West Africa who supervised the course said despite the teething problems that they experienced at the beginning everything went well.
He told the participants that their job was very important, as it was their duty to train more referees from the continent to ensure that the continent got its fair share of officials at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The FIFA "Futuro III" course is a new course introduced by the world's soccer governing body (FIFA) to update the skills of referee inspectors across the world.
The participants were from Gambia, La Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra-Leone, Nigeria and Ghana. Each was presented with a certificate at the end of the course.
Hesse Bahamas from the United States of America and Louis Gonzales from Trinidad and Tobago were the course instructors.