Match officials selected for inaugural CFU Next Generation Referee Course meet the mark
Published on 27 July 2022
Concacaf Refereeing Manager (Caribbean) Dave Meikle gives remarks during the opening ceremony of the CFU Next Generation Course held in Kingston, Jamaica from July 22-25, 2022. (Photo: CFU Media)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (July 27, 2022)—The inaugural and groundbreaking Caribbean Football Union Next Generation Referee Course held in Kingston, Jamaica from 22-25 July, 2022 set the ball rolling on a CFU developmental initiative that aims to prepare the next crop of Caribbean match officials.
Twenty-five up and coming referees and assistant referees converged on the Jamaica Technical Center where, under the tutelage of Concacaf Refereeing Manager Dave Meikle, FIFA and Concacaf Elite Fitness Instructor Kelesha Antoine, Former FIFA referee now a Concacaf Elite Assessor and Instructor Dianne Ferreira-James, FIFA and Concacaf Instructor and Referee Assessor Victor Stewart, and Concacaf Fitness instructor Rohan Thobourne, they went through their technical and physical paces.
The initiative actions the CFU’s strategic objectives of improving and increasing the number of match officials from the Caribbean and, starting in 2026, to have at least one panel of referees represent at every World Cup.
Meikle was not just pleased with the outcome of the course. He is confident that most, if not all, of the participants will advance to the FIFA list and go on to achieve the CFU’s strategic objective.
“The CFU Next Generation Course proved to be a huge success since we aspire to qualify match officials for future world tournaments. This has put us in a good stead to do so. The Caribbean being 31 strong and the largest region in the confederation has been without representation in world tournaments for the better part of 20 years, particularly when it comes on to the men’s World Cup. In the female tournaments, we have qualified assistant referees, but what we want really want to do is to have center referees performing at this level. I think this course has put us in a good position to do so,” Meikle said.
The facilitators identified and evaluated match officials who show promise and who need further work to matriculate to the next level, Meikle said.
The work continues with the cohort, with training—both technical and physical—transitioning online. The match officials will regroup later, to afford them in-person development and continued exposure to the professional environment they experienced in Jamaica.