A LONG time soccer referee in Madang has been recognised with a tournament named after him for serving the Madang Soccer Association for more than 45 years.
Senior referee and the chairman of the referees association, Alphonse Magim, will say goodbye to his favourite sport after more than 45 years.
He is aging and his legs cannot continue to run with the whistle on the field.
Magim, who is now 58 years old, comes from Waenung-Giri in the Bogia district.
He started playing soccer when he was a small boy and was one of the first youngsters to blow the whistle at the age of 18.
He was involved with several soccer clubs and also took part as referee since 1967 when he was attending Madang Technical School.
As the chairman of the referees association, Magim was involved in assisting young referees.
Early last year, he decided to quit soccer and make way for energetic young men to take charge and take over the refereeing.
This year, the Madang Soccer Association under treasurer Paias Bokorum and chairman of the Magim Cup soccer tournament Snr Sgt Leo Tapaka decided to call the challenge, the Alphonse Magim Cup tournament in his honour as a way of showing their appreciation for his time and effort in promoting soccer in the province.
There are 24 teams in both the men’s and women’s divisions participating in the tournament which started on Sunday.
Also joining the event is a team from Lae and another from Wewak.
Snr Sgt Tapaka said although the event was in honour of Magim, the aim of organising it was to bring in different talents from around the province and the region.
He said it was also imperative to allow the young people to know each other and establish good relationships.
Tapaka added that the event would allow selectors to identify talents to take part in the PNG Games and the semi-professional National Soccer League challenge.
Magim said he had contributed a lot to the code despite times when he was intimidated by players and spectators.