MALTESE REFEREES IN LIMELIGHT - Pre-Season Seminar/Training Camp in Bulgaria
Refereeing is one of the areas at the epicentre of the Malta Football Association’s activities throughout the season. The Referees Department within the association in collaboration with the Malta Football Referees Association (MFRA) is constantly engaged in such activities while Maltese Referees and Assistant Referees on the FIFA list are appointed regularly to control international matches.
Currently, a group of 45 Elite and Category One match officials headed by Director of Referees, Adrian Casha, are in Sliven, Bulgaria where they will be engaged in a week-long seminar/training camp between Tuesday 7 and Monday 13 August. The main speaker will be Steve Bennett, FIFA Lecturer and UEFA Referee Observer who was until 2007 on the panel of UEFA Elite Group of Referees.
Other speakers at the seminar will be Adrian Casha, Tom A. Restall, Victor Mintoff, Saviour Darmanin, Philip Agius and Ronald Zammit who will all deal with different themes. There will be theoretical and practical sessions backed by video clips as well as field work. The activity will be concluded by a plenary session, feedback, from participants and presentation of mementos.
Addressing a Press Conference at the Centenary Hall prior to the contingent’s departure on Monday, MFA Chief Executive Officer, Bjorn Vassallo, spoke about the association’s sustained investment in referee’s education with a view to enhancing and widening the perception of the public which goes much beyond the mere 90 minutes of the match the officials are controlling. Vassallo referred to the need of continued improvement in the technical, physical and mental aspects of their work.
He also mentioned the referees’ academy as a basis of their education from an early age, while stating that continuity is the keyword in this regard. He said that the FIFA list of Maltese officials gives Malta great satisfaction.
Finally he thanked the sponsors, FXDD, as well as the MFRA for their part together with the Referees Department in improving the standard of refereeing in our country.
The MFA CEO announced that five Maltese referees have been appointed to control various tournament and friendly matches in Malta and abroad between 11 and 16 August. They are Esther Azzopardi Farrugia and Alfred Borg Cardona, assisted by Karl Frendo Cumbo, respectively engaged in two Women Champions League matches in Macedonia, and in another tournament in the same competition in Malta.
Referee Marco Borg, assisted by Konrad Borg and Christopher Francalanza will be controlling the ‘A’ international friendly between Wales and Bosnia Herzegovina on 15 August.
On the same day the trio of Christopher Lautier (referee), Mariano Debono and William Debattista will take charge of the ‘A’ international friendly, Bulgaria v Cyprus while Alan Mario Sant, assisted by Alan Camilleri and Edward Spiteri are controlling the Under 21 friendly match between the Netherlands and Italy.
At the end of the Press Conference, Adrian Casha, Director of Referees, and Lorry Sammut, MFRA president thanked the MFA for its co-operation and trust throughout the season and the sponsors for their material backing.