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Referee hunt - JFF to go on massive recruitement drive

Published:Wednesday | January 11, 2017 | 1:00 AMMarc Stamp
Referee Kevin Morrison (left) shows a red card to Reno’s Afiba Chambers during a Premier League Football match against Harbour View at Harbour View in 2014.
Ricketts
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The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is looking to add to its pool of referees and will begin its search through a recruitment drive with students along with military and police personnel being targeted.

This exercise, it hopes, will improve the standard of refereeing in local football.

Chairman of the JFF's referees committee, Michael Ricketts, doesn't, in fact, believe that the standard of officiating among the island's officials is that bad, but believes there is a need to get more persons involved.

"I don't think the state of refereeing is that terrible. We have some good referees in Jamaica," Ricketts told The Gleaner yesterday.

"We are looking to start a serious recruitment drive soon. We are having dialogue with ISSA (Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association) in order to get at least one student from [as many] high schools to start training," he disclosed.

"The committee is also looking to get into tertiary institutions, as well as the police force and the Jamaica Defence Force for persons," Ricketts, who is also a JFF board member, added.

Before that, however, the JFF will conduct a course for new match commissioners, which is set to start on January 28, and is also looking to add new match assessors to the programme.

"We currently have 16 assessors, who are all former referees, but we need more persons to be a part of that pool," Ricketts pointed out.

Former FIFA referee Peter Prendergast also believes there is no need to panic with regards to the standard of local refereeing.

"I think we have some refs that should make better judgement. I'm not saying that they are incompetent," said Prendergast, who officiated at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

marc.stamp@gleanerjm.com