May 29, 2015, 10:26 AM
A-five-day FIFA MA Referees Course organized by FIFA in collaboration with the Gambia Football Association (GFA) Normalisation Committee on Sunday concluded at the Paradise Suites Hotel.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Joseph Wellington, the course director, said he has always been impressed about the progress of Gambian referees, adding that it is not like in some countries where you will start from scratch.
He added that he knows the capability of Gambian referees, and that they are very comfortable whenever they come to conduct courses in The Gambia.
He further stated that the certificates they issued were for technical ability and fitness, noting that those that come with the second certificate are those that passed the fitness test, and that the first certificate was given to all participants.
He said he knows the level Gambian referees have gotten to, and what they are capable of.
Lamin Camara, chairman of the Gambia Referees Committee, said he was happy and proud of being part of the course.
He thanked the Gambia Football Association Normalisation Committee together with FIFA and CAF for helping to build the capacities of Gambian referees.
He noted that the referees have made them proud because only three failed the fitness test. He said that they are negotiating with the CAF Referees Committee Chairman for a re-run of the course for the failed participants in early December.
Marcel Mendy, acting Secretary General of the GFA Normalisation Committee on behalf of the Normalisation Committee saluted the efforts of CAF and FIFA in capacitising the referees.
He said the participants must count themselves lucky for being part of the course, because there are many referees out there who would have wanted to be part of the course.
He stated that “the more you are decorated, the more challenges you have,” adding that “to whom much is given much is expected”.
“You must remember at all times that referees out there look up to you,” he went on, while calling on them to be good examples both on and off the pitch.
Concerning the participants who failed the fitness test, he said, “the down fall of a man is not the end of his life, and you should make sure the next time you are given this test you pass”.
Mariatou Jobarteh, Gambia’s FIFA Female Referee, delivered the vote of thanks.