Local referees’ assessors have been challenged to work hard and produce top quality referees who will follow in the steps of Joshua Bondo, and be listed amongst the top referees in the African continent.

This was revealed by FIFA/CAF/COSAFA technical instructor, An Yan Lim Kee Chong of Mauritius, who for the past week drilled local referees’ assessors, to equip them with necessary tools in line with the modern day demands of the game.

A week long elite referee’s assessor course, was held at Lekidi Football Center in Gaborone and came to an end this past Friday.

The course had 35 participants, including seven (7) women among them.

The main objective of the course was to introduce new and latest concepts in refereeing, such as cutting and analyzing game clips, as well as evaluating referee performance.

Chong also reiterated the importance of the association to promote referees’ assessors development as it is a key component to elevate the standards of referees and talent deification.

“Referees’ assessors are an important component in refereeing, evaluating referees need assessors with special skills. There is a new way of assessing referees, it is now not only about referees reports, now it’s about new concepts which includes; preparing for the game, studying the teams with video clips, how individual players behave and this is important to allow the referee control the game better,” Chong stated.

Chong also highlighted that, rural areas have some talents which are more often than not left untapped as a result of not doing proper scouting across the country.

He challenged the assessors to go to their respective regions and ensure that they bring up referees who could go on to become the best in the continent.

“Who is next after Bondo? give me a name, who is next after Bondo? I am responsible for the COSAFA region, I am also at CAF and FIFA, my main interest is to develop referees and I want to see top referees from this region.

Rare talents are hardly in the capital, they are outside, so the challenge is for you guys (referees assessors) to go out there and discover these talents. You have the skills now, you have an idea how to assess and this should help us groom better referees,” he said

He urged the assessors to train local referees about the proximity to play, more especially for situations inside the penalty box.

Chong also added that technology plays a pivotal role in the modern game, reiterating that the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) is coming to Africa and it is important for local referees to not be technophobic.

“It was a hectic training but I am grateful that we manage to finish and we learned a lot. When I came through into this course I was technophobic but I stand here today proud that I enjoy using the softwares’ at our disposal. We are going to work and do a lot, I believe together with my colleagues we will unearth a new crop of talented referees at our respective regions,” course participant, Yvonne Letota gave her views after completing the course.

BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti implored upon referees assessors to promote and be advocates of ‘FIFA fair play’ by upholding high standards of fairness.

“The integrity and ethics must remain at very high level at all times. The decisions of the referee are critical as they impact the lives and investments of those that support football. Worse case scenarios, countries and people have descended into wars and fights because of poor officiating, therefore it is important to train assessors and manage referees,” Letshwiti cautioned participants.

Letshwiti who is the Vice Chairman of CAF inter-club competitions said poor officiating remains one of the main challenge for the office as they receive numerous complaints after matches relating to officiating.

He concluded by noting that the courses set for referees is meant to address the discussed grievances and challenged the local referees to rise to the occasion and become the solution.