Football: Seminar held for all Match Officials in the Refereeing Sector

Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 12:00

Note:This article has been published in both English and Maltese
Nota:Dan l-artiklu ġie miktub bl-Ingliż u bil-Malti

Gavin Muscat

Seminar held for all Match Officials in the Refereeing Sector  – 04th To 06th August 2016

A total of 150 officials involved in the refereeing sector – referees and assistant referees from all categories, referee observers, administrators and technical staff – at the end of last week got together in a prominent hotel in St. Julians for their pre-season 2016/2017 seminar organised by the Malta FA Refereeing Department.

In his introduction, newly-appointed Director of Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi, said that this is a new era for the Refereeing Department: a new refereeing structure is in place involving everyone – including those who came back to the refereeing fraternity after some period of absence – wishing to give a valid contribution in the immediate and distant future.  He made reference to UEFA’s 95% ‘very good’ refereeing audit just completed, and the challenges ahead (including the online portal just introduced, the new refereeing kit for the next three years, the possibility of top officials on a semi-professional scheme) which should motivate all of us to move forward with this year’s seminar chosen theme TOGETHER STRONGER.

The seminar was officially opened by the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovatioin, Youth and Sport, Hon. Chris Agius, who said that it was an honour, privilege and a pleasure for him to address present referees and former ones familiar in his playing days.  He admired and appreciated their authority and task of having to take decisions.  He said that together, the officials would be stronger to overcome all their local and international commitments.  The Hon. David Agius, Opposition Spokesman for Sport, was also in attendance.

The main guests for this annual event were UEFA Referees Committee member David R. Elleray responsible of Maltese refereeing, and UEFA Referee Observer Frank De Bleeckere.

David Elleray’s lectures focused on The New Amendments to the Laws of the Game with special reference those relating to Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity, and the Key Messages from UEFA Referees’ Committee given to the EURO 2016 Final Tournament participating teams.  He explained the philosophy behind the 95 Law changes made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) throughout all the seventeen Laws – not only technical but also in structure and language – for a more sensible differentiation between individual and team punishment, according to the ‘spirit of the match.’

In his last address, Mr Elleray spoke also on the referees observers’ role and drew the referees’ attention that when they draw attention to a mistake, this should be an opportunity for referees to be honest with themselves and analyse-reflect-adjust and improve; he appealed to referees to stick together on and off the field of play; deal with conflicts internally; and work hard to keep on learning “to give a message about Maltese referees at all levels.”  He wished every success for next season under the new Refereeing Administration.

Frank De Bleeckere addressed Careless, Reckless and Stopping Promising Attacks by means of dvd clip situations picked up from the Belgian First League, and also by a presentation which focused on the importance of positioning and angles taken while following the action, teamwork, focus and concentration.  Mr De Bleeckere also led a practical session for the Elite Group at the Luxol Stadium to explain the Vanishing Spray System being introduced in our Premier League this upcoming season.

Other topics were addressed by national instructors Charles Agius on Adopting a preventive approach in Man-Management to National Officials, and by Gaetano  De Gabriele on The first steps in today’s modern refereeing to Grassroots Officials.  Group Discussions were led by the Director of Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi (on Effective Teamwork), his Assistant Directors Philip Agius (on Offside) and Andrè Arciola, and Refereeing Officers Adrian Azzopardi, Stephen Mallia and Alex Arena.

A detailed session on Match Fixing was delivered by none other than MFA Integrity Officer Franz Tabone; while a Player Talk and a Coach Talk were conducted by national goalkeeper Andrew Hogg and U-21 national coach Silvio Vella.

Two sessions were also dedicated for the Media:

  • during a Press Conference, MFA General Secretary Bjorn Vassallo said that it is an honour for us to have 17 international officials, with the Association working hard for this since taking Office in 2010; it seems we have a solid base for a bright future (especially with the setting-up of the Referee Academy) but we should be more committed and not just stand on our laurels as it is not easy for 150 officials to control more than 3,000 matches in a season; thanked all those involved in local refereeing and Mr Elleray for sharing his vast experience with us.  MFA Vice-President and Referees’ Committee Chairman Alex Manfrè was also in attendance.  David Elleray said that football requires the same philosophy and understanding of the Laws of the Game, and was glad of having the opportunity to address local clubs two days before.  Kevin Azzopardi said that a new Refereeing structure is in place based on the UEFA Referee Convention;  95% of UEFA’s  Audit achieved; for the first time an independent Disciplinary Unit, a Fitness Unit, a Gozo Unit and an Audit Unit for internal matters will be operating with immediate effect; two new initiatives next season (vanishing spray in Premier League matches and new kits);  an online portal for match officials and referee observers; he took the opportunity to mention a number of referees’ international appointments just received for the coming weeks and months; finally he thanked the MFA Administartion for their support and faith in him; and
  • a Media Talk took place during which TVM’s Kontrattakk presenter Sandro Micallef and Net TV’s Replay opinionist Konrad Sultana exchanged refereeing views with the audience.

All participants were tested in General Knowledge, Laws of the Game, and English Proficiency, by means of quizzes held on the three different days.

MFA Referees Fitness Coach Ronald Zammit carried out body composition tests on the elite group of referees and assistant referees, and the day after conducted an analysis on the results; he also made reference to the FIFA Fitness Tests held earlier in the week and gave appropriate advice on the officials’ performances. He also conducted a theoretical and practical session on Injury Prevention.

In his concluding remarks, Director of Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi explained the New Refereeing Sector Structure, foremost that it would include 8 technical units and 6 support units (altogether involving 25 personnel) and the Referees’ Committee would be composed of 12 members; and also mentioned administrative and financial matters.  He remarked that it seems that the three seminar days were a very good working experience which promises well for the season ahead and when we would be needed to rise to the occasion!



Seminar Għall-Uffiċjali Kollha Tal-Logħba Fi Ħdan Is-Settur Tar-Refereeing – Mill-4 Sas-6 Ta’ Awwissu 2016

Total ta’ 150 uffiċjali involuti fis-settur tar-refereeing – referees u assistenti referees minn kull kategorija, osservaturi tar-referees, amministraturi u tekniċi – fi tmiem il-ġimgħa l-oħra ġew imlaqqa’ f’lukanda prominenti f’San Ġiljan għas-seminar ta’ qabel l-istaġun 2016/2017 organizzat mis-Settur tar-Refereeing tal-Malta FA.

Fl-introduzzjoni tiegħu, id-Direttur tar-Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi li għadu kemm ġie appuntat, qal li din hi era ġdida għad-Dipartiment tar-Refereeing: struttura ġdida ġiet stabbilita li tinvolvi lil kullħadd – inklużi dawk li rritornaw fil-komunità tar-refereeing wara xi żmien assenti – li jixtiequ jagħtu l-kontribut validu tagħhom fil-futur immedjat u aktar ’l quddiem.  Għamel referenza għall-awditjar mill-UEFA klassifikat 95% ‘tajjeb ħafna’, u l-isfidi li għandna quddiemna (inklużi l-online portal introdott m’ilux, il-kit ġdid tar-referees għat-tliet snin li ġejjin, il-possibiltà li uffiċjali fl-ogħla kategorija  jkunu fuq skema semi-professjonali) li għandhom jimmotivawna lkoll nimxu ’l quddiem mat-tema magħżula għas-seminar din is-sena FLIMKIEN AKTAR B’SAĦĦITNA.

Is-seminar infetaħ uffiċjalment mis-Segretarju Parlamentari għar-Riċerka, Innovazzjoni, Żgħażagħ u Sport, l-Onor. Chris Agius, li qal iħossu onorat, ta’ privileġġ u ta’ pjaċir għalih jindirizza referees attwali u dawk li hu jiftakar meta kien jilgħab snin ilu.  Kien u għadu jammira u japprezza l-awtorità tagħhom fid-deċiżjonijiet li jieħdu waqt il-qadi ta’ dmirijiethom.  Qal li flimkien, l-uffiċjali jkunu b’saħħithom aktar biex jegħlbu l-impenji tagħhom lokali u internazzjonali.  L-Onor. David Agius, il-Kelliem tal-Oppożizzjoni għall-Isport, kien preżenti wkoll.

Il-mistiedna prinċipali għal dan l-avveniment annwali kienu l-membru tal-UEFA Referees Committee David R. Elleray responsabbli għar-refereeing lokali, u l-UEFA Referee Observer Frank De Bleeckere.

Il-lectures ta’ David Elleray kienu ffokati fuq l-Emendi Ġodda tar-Regolamenti tal-Logħba, partikolarment dawk konnessi ma’ Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity, u Struzzjonijiet Mogħtija mill-UEFA Referees’ Committee lit-teams parteċipanti fil-Finali ta’ EURO 2016.  Huwa spjega l-ħsieb wara l-95 bidliet u struzzjonijiet magħmula mill-International Football Association Board (IFAB) fis-17-il Regola li hemm – mhux biss tekniċi iżda wkoll ta’ struttura u lingwaġġ – bl-iskop li jkun hemm distinzjoni aktar sensibbli bejn kastig lill-individwu u lit-team, skont kif jitlob l-ispirtu sportiv.

Fl-aħħar indirizz tiegħu, is-Sur Elleray tkellem ukoll dwar ir-rwol tal-osservaturi tar-referees u fakkar lir-referees li meta dawn jiġbdulhom l-attenzjoni għal xi nuqqas jew żball, għandhom jieħdu l-okkażżjoni bħala opportunità biex ikunu onesti magħhom infushom u janalizzaw-jirriflettu-jirranġaw għal titjib; appella lir-referees biex ikunu magħquda flimkien kemm waqt il-logħba kif ukoll f’okkażżjonijiet oħra; il-konflitti jsolvuhom internament; u jaħdmu iebes biex jibqgħu jitgħallmu ħalli jkunu jistgħu jgħaddu messaġġ pożittiv dwar ir-referees Maltin f’kull livell.  Awgura kull suċċess għall-istaġun li ġej taħt l-Amministrazzjoni ġdida tar-Refereeing.

Frank De Bleeckere mexxa sessjoni bis-suġġett Careless, Reckless and Stopping Promising Attacks permezz ta’ wiri ta’ sitwazzjonijiet meħuda mill-First League tal-Belġju, bi preżentazzjoni dwarl-importanza tal-pożizzjonijiet u angoli meħuda mir-referees meta jsegwu l-azzjoni, teamwork, jibqgħu iffokati u konċentrati.  De Bleeckere mexxa wkoll sessjoni prattika għall-Elite Group fil-Luxol Stadium biex jispjega l-użu tal-vanishing spray  li ser jiġi introdott fil-Premier League fl-istaġun li wasal biex jibda.

Suġġetti oħra ġew indirizzati minn national instructors: Charles Agius tkellem man-National Officials dwar Adopting a preventive approach in Man-Management, u Gaetano  De Gabriele dwar The first steps in today’s modern refereeing mal-Grassroots Officials.  Diskussjonijiet fi gruppi tmexxew mid-Direttur tar Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi (fuq Effective Teamwork), l-assistenti tiegħu Philip Agius (fuq l-Offside) u Andrè Arciola, u r-Refereeing Officers Adrian Azzopardi, Stephen Mallia u Alex Arena.

Sessjoni dettaljata fuq Match Fixing ġiet trattata mill-Integrity Officer tal-MFA Franz Tabone; filwaqt li Player Talk u Coach Talk tmexxew mill-goalkeeper tat-team nazzjonali Andrew Hogg u l-coach tat-team nazzjonali U-21 Silvio Vella.

Żewġ sessjonijiet ġew riservati għal diskussjonijiet mal-Media:

  • waqt konferenza stampa, is-Segretarju Ġenerali tal-MFA Bjorn Vassallo qal li hu unur għal Malta li jkollna 17-il uffiċjal internazzjonali, b’ħidma kontinwa mill-2010 meta l-amministrazzjoni preżenti ħadet it-tmexxija; jidher li għandna bażi soda għal futur sabiħ (speċjalment bit-twaqqif tar-Referees’ Academy) iżda jeħtieġ nibqgħu impenjati u ma nirrilassawx għax mhux faċli għal 150 uffiċjal li jridu jikkontrollaw ’l fuq minn 3,000 logħba; irringrazzja lil dawk kollha involuti fir-refereeing lokali, u lis-Sur Elleray li għoġbu jiġi jaqsam l-esperjenza vasta tiegħu magħna.  Il-Viċi-President tal-MFA u Chairman tar-Referees’ Committee Alex Manfrè kien preżenti wkoll.   David Elleray qal li l-football għandu bżonn l-istess filosofija fir-raġunament tar-Regolamenti tal-Logħba, u ħa gost li kellu l-opportunità jindirizza l-clubs jumejn qabel.  Kevin Azzopardi qal li struttura ġdida ġiet introdotta bażata fuq il-UEFA Referee Convention; 95% tal-UEFA Audit intlaħaq; għall-ewwel darba id-Disciplinary Unit hu indipendenti mir-Referees’ Committee, Fitness Unit, Gozo Unit u Audit Unit għal materji interni ser ikunu joperaw b’effett immedjat; żewġ inizjattivi ġodda mill-istaġun li ġej (l-użu tal-vanishing spray u kits ġodda); online portal għall-uffiċjali u r-referee Observers; semma’ wkoll numru ta’ appointments internazzjonali għar-referees fil-ġimgħat u x-xhur li ġejjin; fl-aħħarnett irringrazzja lill-Amministrazzjoni tal-MFA għall-appoġġ u l-fiduċja tagħhom fih; u
  • saret Diskussjoni mal-Media  li matulha l-preżentatur tal-programm Kontrattakk fuq TVM Sandro Micallef, u l-opinjonista tal-programm Replay fuq Net TV Konrad Sultana, qasmu l-ideat tagħhom dwar ir-refereeing lokali mal-udjenza.

Matul it-tlett ijiem tas-seminar, il-parteċipanti sarulhom testijiet fil-General Knowledge, ir-Regolamenti tal-Logħba, u l-Profiċjenza fil-linwa Ingliża permezz ta’ quizzes.

Ir-Referees Fitness Coach Ronald Zammit mexxa body composition tests għall-Elite referees u assistant referees, u l-għada għamel analiżi tar-riżultati; għamel ukoll referenza għat-testijiet fiżiċi tal-FIFA li saru aktar kmieni fil-ġimgħa u ta pariri fejn meħtieġ.  Hu mexxa wkoll sessjoni teoretiku u prattika dwar Injury Prevention.

Fil-kummenti konklussivi tiegħu, id-Direttur tar-Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi spjega fid-dettall l-Istruttura Ġdida fis-Settur tar-Refereeing, l-iktar li ser tkun tinkludi 8 units tekniċi u 6 units sussidjarji (b’kollox jinvolvu 25 persuna), u li r-Referees Committee ser ikollu 12-il membru; semma’ wkoll temi amministrattivi u finanzjarji.  Irrimarka li jidher li t-tlett ijiem tas-seminar kienu esperjenza fejjieda li tawgura tajjeb għall-istaġun li ġej, speċjalment meta jkun hemm bżonn inqumu għall-okkażjoni!












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