The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) in collaboration with the National Football Referees Association is training elite match officials using online courses to maintain their physical fitness and laws of the game knowledge during the ongoing Covid-19 football lockdown.
The local programme is an extension of the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA)’s online training project for FIFA referees where they are among other things given challenging match situation clips to discuss with the help of instructors to enhance their understanding of the game.
FAM Referees Development Officer, Maxwell Mtonga said local FIFA Futuro III instructors, are working with individual local referees and assessors on the project.
“We have Martha Nyekanyeka who is working with the individual Assessors on online classes as well as the Google tests for referees while Michael Makoto is doing online Trivial Tests for both elite and non-elite referees.
“All this is being done to keep the referees and assessors active with football suspended,” said Mtonga.
The 14 Malawian FIFA Referees have joined their counterparts from the Southern Africa in an online training program schedule by COSAFA.
COSAFA Referees Manager Felix Tangawarima, said apart from discussing the challenging match situations using the clips, the region’s referees have daily training programmes which are monitored by the COSAFA Regional Physical Coach.
“Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we put two challenging match situation clips with lots of learning elements on our platform, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The Instructors are then allocated to these three groups to lead the discussions.
“After about two hours of discussion on a clip, the Instructors then give them the correct answer with additional comments on the understanding football and other relevant information.”
“Our physical coaches have designed some daily training programs for the referees which are done in their houses or around their yards.
Derek Henson, the COSAFA Regional Physical Coach, monitors the referees training activities through their Polar watches, some of which are linked to him by GPS, and with the help of all our physical coaches in the region,” said Tangawarima.