January 17 – CONCACAF has launched a high level initiative in conjunction with Mexican federation FEMEXFUT to boost the standard of referring and coaching at the top levels of its member federations.
Based at the new FEMEXFUT training facilities in Toluca, Mexico, top level national referees will undergo an eight-week training course – split into two four week blocks – led by professional referees in Mexico and FIFA instructors.
Top level refereeing has often been a contentious area for the confederations with the last Gold Cup in 2017 marked by protests by the Panamanian Football Federation (FEPAFUT) who, bitter at their semi-final loss in the Gold Cup to Mexico, escalated their public complaints about the referee, calling for the resignation of the whole CONCACAF Referees Committee citing “insulting and shameful” refereeing. The demand was made in a statement on their website.
This promoted an overhaul of the referees committee and ultimately led to the current initiative to increase the number of referees in the region who can officiate top level matches.
Already 14 course participants have been selected for the opening programme at the end of this month. Participants will be assigned to officiate in games in one of the lower divisions of FEMEXFUT as part of their training which will cover technical, physical, psychological, and nutritional aspects. The second part of the course will take place in October when referees will be tested and certified.
The coaching education initiative began this week in Toluca and includes modules on how to develop youth and lower divisions. The course is aimed at technical development directors from the regions 35 member nations.
“The Program of Excellence for Referees and Coaching Education is an important step in investing in football, a pillar of our ONE CONCACAF Vision. The Confederation and FEMEXFUT are working together to implement the initiative, which represents a key deliverable to accomplish our mission to develop the game,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani. “For the first time, CONCACAF and FEMEXFUT have established a program that presents unique educational tools to increase and improve the sport quality within the region.”
This of course isn’t the first coaching initiative undertaken by CONCACAF who have rolled out a series of coach education courses across the region over the past three years. But it is the first under new chief Montagliani’s regime.
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