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GAMBIA HOSTS WAFU WOMEN’S REFEREES TRAINING SEMINAR

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The Caf West Africa Zone (Wafu-A) is currently conducting a weeklong women’s referees training seminar in Banjul, as the zonal union equips match officials from member associations.

The seminar is the first event hosted in the Gambian capital since the WAFU-A Secretariat returned to the Smiling Coast of Africa.

A list consists of 18 match officials selected from the nine member associations of the zonal as well as the Caf head of refereeing and football technology Désiré Noumandiez DOUÉ and a highly experienced technical and physical instructors to ensure that all officials are in the best shape ahead of the upcoming competitions are attending.

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Part of the workshop will include, but not be limited to physical, theoretical and technical tests while also ensuring that all officials are fully up to speed with the laws of the game and other key refereeing matters.

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In welcoming the participants to the home of Wafu-A, the executive director of the zone, Mapathe Gaye, said the workshop is designed to equip female referees ahead of the forthcoming WAFU-A and Caf competitions.

Gaye, himself a former referee, urged the trainees to concentrate and take advantage of the presence of Director Désiré Noumandiez DOUÉ, who is one of the instructors at this session.

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“I would like to thank the Wafu-A zone for organising this seminar,” Désiré Noumandiez DOUÉ CAF said at the opening.

 He continued: “For us as Caf refereeing department it is a very important moment and we discussed last week, the zones are the key points of our refereeing development strategy and that’s why we try to manage our timetable to be here to conduct this course. We want to encourage and we want to really work closely with the zones.”

Mr Doue who officiated at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil and the 2011 Caf champions league final further challenged the referees to grab the opportunity given to them.

“You are given a very big opportunity not just to learn but to also show your qualities and you’re lucky because you will spend one week with the head of refereeing of Caf so you will not find a better person to see and to take note of what you’re able to do,” the Ivorian said.

He revealed that the trainees will spend some time in class for the theoretical part ‘but we will put emphasis on the practical training sessions because refereeing is effectively learned more, not the field of play not in class.

“This training will be an opportunity for us to get the referees familiar with the Caf philosophy and expectations in terms of football understanding, tactical approach, decision making process, game management, players management and match control. All those things will help you to perform on the field,” the Caf head of refereeing told trainees.

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He stressed that the beautiful game cannot develop with enhancing the capacities of the match officials.

“We need to make everything clear that you need to know what you have to do, where you have to go, why you have to go there once you enter the field of play to bring back good results. We want to raise the level of refereeing here and we want to see more WAFU-A referees in our competitions,” Doue concluded.

Lamin Kaba Bajo the president of Wafu-A and The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) welcomed the training describing it as a joyous moment for the GFF and Wafu-A.

“This is indeed a very joyous moment for us to host this very important activity of our zonal calendar. I’m sure you’re aware that it is just about three weeks ago that the WAFU-A secretariat in The Gambia restarted -operations and it is gratifying to have this very important training here,” President Bajo said as he officially opened the week-long seminar.

“I’ve a personal passion for refereeing and I have some much belief and respect for referees since there cannot any football without referees,” Bajo said.

He said he and his team has a lot of work to do at the zonal level to increase the number of female referees’ participating at continental and global level and that he is already happy that there is a lot of improvement.

Mr Bajo said the zone is very proud in hosting this event especially the high caliber of people in the likes of Mr. Doue himself and his colleagues.

”We are very grateful to Caf Secretary General Veron for allowing you all to leave Cairo to be here for this important training,” the President said told the Caf official.

Fatou Gaye, a member of Wafu- A referees committee thanked the leadership of the zone for holding the training aimed at increasing the Wafu-A representation among the elite referees of Caf and Fifa.

“This workshop will serve as a roadmap for us to revitalise the presence of female referees from this zone in the elite of world refereeing,” she added.

The secretary general of The Gambia Football Federation, Lamin M. Jassey emphasised the GFF’s commitment to continue its cordial working relationship with the Wafu-A secretariat in Banjul.

Wafu-A Communications Unit

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