—- With the countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ well under way, FIFA’s Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca has opened the first joint-preparation Elite AFC, CAF and OFC Referees Seminar in Doha, Qatar. The seminar will last until 15 April and brings together prospective referees from three FIFA Confederations.
It is a historical one: for the first time in FIFA’s history, female and male referees are going through a host of activities together, including theoretical sessions in the classroom and practical sessions on the field of play. Theoretical sessions are focused on specific topics – from reading the game and positioning to tackles and penalty area incidents.
The match officials will discuss videos of different game situations to achieve consistency and uniformity. Practical sessions on the field of play bring players and referees together to simulate what happens in a game and immediate feedback will be given to referees regarding their reading of the play, leading to their movement, position, angle of view and decisions. The instructors will also provide immediate feedback to improve performances.
FIFA’s Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca is looking ahead with a lot of enthusiasm to the cycle leading up to the Russia 2018 and the France 2019, with a unified, joint effort for men’s and women’s football.
In his opening speech in Doha, Busacca said: “Men and women have to work together, because we are convinced that this should be our philosophy. The game is the same, the decisions they take are the same, and thus the preparation for the referees and assistant referees should be, too.”