Posted on February 19, 2018

The Seminar for FIFA Referee Technical & Fitness Instructors opening ceremony took place today Monday 19 February and will be hosted in Doha until 23 February.

The Seminar for FIFA Referee Technical & Fitness Instructors brings together 100 instructors from all over the world to prepare for the FIFA refereeing activities in 2018. During the five days, instructors will take part in theoretical and practical sessions to improve their knowledge, share ideas and expertise, and study the latest trends in the refereeing world, to achieve a uniform interpretation and application of the Laws of the Game.

The seminar aims to update the instructors with the latest teaching materials, fitness data and results, and enhance their knowledge on fitness and technical training and referees’ evaluation. The opening ceremony was held at the InterContinental Hotel Doha and was attended by Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the Referees’ Committee at FIFA, Hani Ballan, Vice Chairman of FIFA Referees’ Committee, Chairman of AFC Referees’ Committee, and Chairman of QFA Referees’ Committee, Massimo Busacca, Director of the FIFA Refereeing Department, and Neji Jouini, Executive Director of the Referees Committee at QFA.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the Referees’ Committee said: “The best men and women referees in the world were here in Doha over the last few weeks, and the referees did an excellent job of under the leadership Busacca. Today we have the referees who we can count on in important competitions, but we need to also focus on future referees. We told the referees in the last few weeks that they have to set an example for the new generation of referees, and that we would be happy if each of them could help the younger referees by developing their skills. We have to pay attention to the future of the referees and this is why we are here. We have to help new referees to develop their skills and take part in advanced workshops, and the only way we can do that is through the instructors.”

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Collina expressed his confidence in the instructors’ role as they play a huge role in the future of the refereeing world and football because they possess the commitment and experience and have a great responsibility. He is confident that each instructor can be trusted and thanked them for their commitment.

Hani Ballan, Vice Chairman of FIFA Referees’ Committee, Chairman of AFC Referees’ Committee, and Chairman of QFA Referees’ Committee welcomed the attendees and instructors to Doha and said: “We are very proud to host this seminar here in Qatar for the first time as it is a source of happiness and pride for us. At the same time, the seminar is also a responsibility for us to do more in the future. We thank FIFA for its great support and confidence in Qatar, and for its’ assistance to help us host the four seminars in Qatar in the last 25 days. We are honored to have hosted three successful seminars in the past month and are happy to host this session successfully, thanks to the great fitness and technical instructors who are here today.”

He added: “Collina addressed your responsibilities towards the referees and what we must do to develop the referees. When it comes to instructors, I always remember Stephen Covey’s book titled 7 habits of highly effective people. I was influenced by the first two habits: first one being to influence others around us and that is what we do as instructors. We do not just expect reactions but we train the referees to be ready for any situation, and this is important for us as fitness and technical instructors, we must allow the referees to learn through application. The second habit that influenced me to is to put in mind the goal we aspire to achieve, and the final product for us is the referees, who we appreciate and respect their efforts as they are a diamond that we must protect. In order for referees to excel, we do this by determining our priorities and our tasks and how we can do things differently and offer them different ways to develop.”

Hani Ballan said that he was confident that the course would add many, and asked the instructors to make use of the tools provided to allow the referees to succeed and officiate in international competitions.

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Massimo Busacca, Director of the FIFA Refereeing Department said: “The reason we were here after a year is because we had wonderful training sessions to train men and women candidate referees for the Russia World Cup and for Women’s World Cup in France. We will see positive results in the remainder of this year and must tell the referees that we have to work according by setting clear goals and in order to achieve these goals, we must hope to achieve positive results. After the two seminars that were held here in the last few weeks, we witnessed positive results and a great improvement compared to the past period several months ago when we had our last seminar, and this is our philosophy at FIFA. We invest money in those seminars to prepare the referees and instructors in order to witness positive results and improvement.”

He added: “When a referee doesn’t perform well or doesn’t pass a medical or fitness test, we have to analyze and know the reasons behind it, and ask why they made the wrong decisions on the pitch. Today we have a great responsibility, we are perceived as technical managers, therefore, this is why we want to surprise others when we teach, train and demonstrate our skills and abilities. We must invest more in the refereeing world, the training of referees, and these seminars because we are convinced that these seminars are of importance to us and to the referee development.”

He also said: “We have to ensure that teach the teacher philosophy in this seminar is an important element for us, especially now as we approach the final stages of organising the World Cup in Russia. We have critical months ahead and the results we have seen from the referees so far and continue to see are the results that guarantee us that we are on the right track. This is what we want to make sure of during this seminar, that we are here to improve the results.” He wished the instructors success the best of luck during the week and not to hesitate to discuss, ask questions and propose new ideas.

Hani Ballan and Pierluigi Collina exchanged pennants at the end of the closing ceremony, and took a group picture with the 100 instructors.