Soccer refs urged to keep abreast of times

Main Stories, Sports


THE National Soccer League (NSL) board has urged referees undergoing the three-day elite referees’ course in Port Moresby to learn as much as they can in readiness for the upcoming season.
NSL chairman John Kapi Natto said yesterday the NSL season commences next weekend and it was of paramount importance that the referees learn and upgrade their knowledge and skills in order to implement these in improving the standard of refereeing and soccer in the country.
“With the increase of overseas players taking part in the NSL season, franchises injecting a lot of money into the game and the rise of the level of football, the referees must be also on par when executing their responsibilities,” he said.
Kapi Natto said the NSL competition was getting tougher each season and the performances of the referees must also be up to standard with the rest of the OFC/FIFA countries.
“It would mean that referees must have the right equipment and know-how and must be accurate in their decision-making,” he said.
PNGFA and NSL were glad to secure the services of the Solomon Islands-based OFC referees instructor Neil Poloso to assist in conducting the referees’ course for the NSL season.
Kapi Natto said in O-League, all assistant referees and fourth officials would be provided by host countries and it was important that all the technical officials must be knowledgeable with refereeing.
“All our officials have to be up to the required standard. The ball is in their court to pull up their sleeves or we will not make any progress,” he said.
The NSL chairman said refereeing was a big problem in soccer generally, particularly in the high level competitions such as the NSL.
Poloso said the main objective of the course was to acquire, review and consolidate the laws, technical aspects, and, interpretation of the laws of the game to ensure uniformity and consistency.
The practical season covered refereeing techniques (positioning on the movement, on restart, signals, cooperation, running techniques and offside, reading the game (tactical system of play and management of the game, and,  control of the game (management of the players).
Other sessions included mental preparation, physical fitness preparations, attitude/behaviour on the field and off-the-field.
The session ended with words reminiscent of US president John F Kennedy’s era: “Don’t ask what PNGFA or NSL can do for you but ask yourself what you could do for PNG and NSL.”