Chiyangwa hails local refs as FIFA MA course ends

The COSAFA president has applauded the local referees that took part in the five day FIFA Membership Association course which ended on Friday afternoon.

By Carlo Chikomba

The COSAFA and Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa has expressed delight at the proceedings of the FIFA Membership Association course which started on Monday and ended on Friday afternoon at Prince Edward High School.

The course which featured the country’s 35 topflight referees was conducted by FIFA referee instructor Felix Tangawarima who gave feedback on how the referees fared during the course of the event.

Speaking at the event’s closing ceremony at Prince Edward High School in the capital, Felix commended the way in which the activities were organised, adding that this was one of the best referees’ programmes he had ever witnessed in the country.

“I would like to thank the organisers of this event for the wonderful job they did, the activities were well co-ordinated. I would also like to thank the referees for the level of dedication they showed during this course and I can assure you that they (the referees) will never be the same again.”

Felix, however, highlighted one of his concerns to the COSAFA president.

“In the same vein, I would also like to pass a request to you Mr Chiyangwa that Zimbabwe be reviewed in terms of the quota of referees allowed at the international stage. Our quota is dependent on our country’s ranking but we have noted that other countries that are ranked lower than us have a higher quota than us,” he explained.

The COSAFA president said he was happy with the way the course was conducted while in the same vein gave glowing remarks to Felix, who at one time was one of Africa’s top referees during his time.

“I am pleased to hear Felix say you have all passed the physical fitness test,” he said.

“It is heartening to have Felix, one of the most successful referees in the country now training other referees. Felix is without a doubt Africa’s top referee instructor and he has made the nation proud.”

“This shows that our local referees fitness levels are at par with those at the international level. I want to encourage you all to be bold in your area of expertise.  Leadership is about overcoming fear and fearless people are true leaders.

“Referees play a critical role in matches, when you make a decision, be fearless and stand by it. Don’t second guess yourself because if you do that then you discredit yourself.

Chiyangwa also went on to add that the course was conducted in an effort to update the skillset of local referees and well as to broaden their knowledge base.

In response to the request by Felix, the ZIFA president said that at present the limiting factor in the bid to increase the referees’ quota on the international scene was the fact that the local referees had not been trained in using the video assistant referee (VAR) system.

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