Guam – As Guam’s competitiveness in the soccer world continues to improve, so must the level of the island’s referees.
The Guam Football Association is taking the necessary steps to heighten the level of local soccer referees with a five-day course facilitated by visiting FIFA officials.
“The goal for this short course to provide Guam’s local referees with better knowledge, better interpretations and better application of the Laws of the Game,” said Mohamad Rodzali Yacob, a FIFA Referee Development Officer from Malaysia. “I also hope that the referees will continue to improve their level of fitness. After the five-day course, the participants will be exposed to technical and fitness training required at the highest level that I hope they can adopt locally.”
Yacob is joined by Subkhiddin Bin Mohd Salleh, a FIFA Referee Technical Instructor and also a member of FIFA’s Referees Committee in Member Development, and Ahmad Khalidi Supian, a FIFA Referee Fitness Instructor.
[FIFA Referee Fitness Instructor Ahmad Khalidi Supian (in green) leads a group warmup before a fitness test during a five-day FIFA Referee Course organized by the Guam Football Association]
Local referees selected for the course are Brett Maluwelmeng, Adam Rudolph, Eladio Manansala, Shawn Spindel, Sungchan Hong, Francis Chargualaf, Felipe Lopez, Simie Willter, Yu Tanabe, Michael Lee, Christina Duenas, Royanne Salas, Ashley Besagar, Rhoda Bamba, James Oh and Krystiana Martinez. Don Cabrera and Mason Fruit, visiting referees from the Northern Mariana Islands, flew in to Guam to join the course as well.
“I think this is a very good opportunity, even for those who have been referees for a long time – you still learn something every time,” said Willter. “It’s a good experience and good exposure for local referees. Through the course, we’ll get to see what’s expected of referees at the highest level.”
Course participants receive classroom instruction and training on the field. The participants also endured a fitness test, which FIFA-level referees are required to pass before every international tournament in which they are officiating. The fitness test involves a sprinting portion where the referees are timed, as well as an interval portion that requires referees to keep different paces for different portions of a track oval for a total of 10 full laps. Additionally, course participants receive FIFA sports gear to use during the course.
[Shawn Spindel completes one timed sprint during the fitness test of a five-day FIFA Referee Course organized by the Guam Football Association]
Currently, Guam is one of two full members of the Asian Football Confederation that do not have any FIFA referees or assistant referees in either the men’s competition or the women’s competition. The age minimum to be nominated for a FIFA referee badge is 25 and 23 for assistant referees. Additionally, the age maximum is 37 for first-time nominees, according to FIFA Circular No. 1275, 2012 FIFA List of International Referees. Other requirements also need to be met before a FIFA member association can nominate a local referee for a FIFA badge.