Sem­i­nar for 60 match of­fi­cials and ref­eree ob­servers

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

The Malta FA Ref­er­ee­ing De­part­ment or­gan­ised the cus­tom­ary au­tumn sem­i­nar for nearly 60 match of­fi­cials and ref­eree ob­servers, in the re­stored and ren­o­vated ar­chi­tec­tural beauty of the his­tor­i­cal Fort St. An­gelo in Vit­to­riosa. In his in­tro­duc­tion, Di­rec­tor of Ref­er­ee­ing Kevin Az­zopardi said that the main aim of this sem­i­nar (three months af­ter the pre-sea­son one) was to take stock of the good per­for­mances so far, what could be im­proved, and what went wrong. His style of ad­min­is­tra­tion may look re­laxed but pos­i­tive re­sults are ex­pected by him and his team who, how­ever, have a duty to sup­port ref­er­ees (when­ever pos­si­ble). This is a sea­son which brought about and will con­tinue to in­tro­duce var­i­ous changes (strat­egy, on­line por­tal, new kits for the next three years, van­ish­ing spray in the Premier League, an in­sur­ance scheme be­ing dis­cussed). He said that the list of in­ter­na­tional ap­point­ments so far this year is 22 (in 2015 it was 15) and ac­knowl­edged the ref­er­ees’ merit to this; while ap­peal­ing to one and all to “let’s con­tinue work­ing to­gether.” The main guest for this event was for­mer French in­ter­na­tional ref­eree and UEFA Ref­er­ee­ing Of­fi­cer Marc Batta who ex­pressed his plea­sure to be in Malta and share his knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences with lo­cal ref­er­ees for them to im­prove. His lectures dealt with Po­si­tion­ing, The Ad­van­tage Clause, Ef­fec­tive Team­work, and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion & Per­son­al­ity (man­age­ment of play/ers) by means of pow­erpoint pre­sen­ta­tions and dvd clips taken from var­i­ous Euro­pean leagues and com­pe­ti­tions, from which the im­por­tance ev­i­dently came out that the ref­eree must train hard (phys­i­cally and men­tally) to be pre­pared to fol­low the ac­tion fo­cused and con­cen­trated through­out the whole match and able to give the cor­rect de­ci­sions ex­pected of him. Other top­ics were ad­dressed by Di­rec­tor of Ref­er­ee­ing Kevin Az­zopardi onTack­ling Ma­jor De­ci­sions, and by national in­struc­tors Charles Agius on Hand­ball and by Gae­tano De Gabriele on Adopt­ing the Right At­ti­tude on and off the field of play. Group Dis­cus­sions for ref­er­ees were led by Di­rec­tor of Ref­er­ee­ing Kevin Az­zopardi and Ref­er­ee­ing As­sis­tant Marco Borg, while for as­sis­tant ref­er­ees (on off­side) was con­ducted by As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor Philip Agius; ref­er­ee­ing of­fi­cer Alex Arena met with ref­eree ob­servers. On the three dif­fer­ent days, par­tic­i­pants were tested in Gen­eral Knowl­edge and English Pro­fi­ciency by means of quizzes and a Laws of the Game test con­ducted by Ref­er­ee­ing Of­fi­cers An­drè Ar­ci­ola and Adrian Az­zopardi, who also gave feed­back on same. MFA Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Bjorn Vas­sallo said that now that he is mov­ing on to pas­tures new at FIFA, thanked the match of­fi­cials for their sup­port dur­ing the past 6½ years in the im­ple­men­ta­tion for what the Malta FA had in mind for the ref­er­ee­ing sec­tor at the time and for the future; the result be­ing that through a strate­gic plan now we have more and bet­ter ref­er­ees, and top class ones. He thanked Mr Batta for ac­cept­ing to share his ex­per­tise with the lo­cals. Mr Batta ac­knowl­edged the in­ten­sive work car­ried out and en­joyed the in­volve­ment of the par­tic­i­pants over the past three days; he ap­pealed to them to be con­sis­tent (with the help of their ref­er­ee­ing of­fi­cers and ob­servers); and wished them well for the future. Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Re­search, In­no­va­tioin, Youth and Sport, Hon. Chris Agius thanked Mr Batta for shar­ing his vast ex­pe­ri­ence with our ref­er­ees; Kevin Az­zopardi, his ad­min­is­tra­tive team and the ref­er­ees who al­to­gether are an im­por­tant stake­holder in the game. Thanked out­go­ing MFA Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Bjorn Vas­sallo and wished him success for his new ap­point­ment at FIFA, and wel­comed the in­com­ing Dr An­gelo Chet­cuti in his stead (who was present). Kevin Az­zopardi said that dur­ing this same week he at­tended a UEFA Work­shop which made him re­alise that our ref­er­ee­ing sec­tor is one of the best in Europe re­gard­ing strate­gic or­gan­i­sa­tion and ini­tia­tives be­ing taken; and that is the rea­son why our hard-work­ing of­fi­cials in 2016 kept get­ting in­ter­na­tional ap­point­ments (40% more than 2015). He said that two UEFA in­ter­na­tional projects for our ref­er­ees are in the pipe­line; more ref­eree ex­changes are in hand for later on in Novem­ber and in 2017; the Ref­er­ees’ Academy is go­ing strong with an­other 20 can­di­dates this sea­son; and for 2017 we man­aged to keep the same num­ber of in­ter­na­tional of­fi­cials (17). He also thanked Mr Batta for ac­cept­ing the in­vi­ta­tion to be the main lec­turer at this sem­i­nar; Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Re­search, In­no­va­tioin, Youth and Sport, Hon. Chris Agius, for his sup­port; Her­itage Malta as hosts; the MFRA; and spon­sors Au­toFac­tors; his ad­min­is­tra­tive team’s con­tri­bu­tion (also noted by Mr Batta) for the great job be­ing done; and Bjorn Vas­sallo while giv­ing him his best wishes (and also on be­half of the ref­er­ee­ing fra­ter­nity) for his future ca­reer with FIFA The sem­i­nar came to a close with Az­zopardi go­ing through some ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters; with his con­clud­ing re­marks be­ing that there is over­all sat­is­fac­tion about the match of­fi­cials’ per­for­mances so far this sea­son…and it was a pos­i­tive sem­i­nar.

A sem­i­nar was or­gan­ised in Fort St. An­gelo

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