Local referees have commended measures taken by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to improve officiating standards through regular free training sessions. They said the move will enable more people join the profession in the wake of increasing demand for referees.
Speaking at Kasarani Stadium while undertaking a session organised by FKF, National Super League (NSL) referee Andrew Juma said previous demands for one to become a referee locked most people out of the profession and subsequently shuttered their dreams.
“Before the current office, we used to pay the federation a fee before you undertake any form of training as a referee but things have since changed under the stewardship of Nick Mwendwa as FKF president. We can now freely take training to better our skills and experiences,” said Juma.
Conditions that existed previously saw a number of referees exiting the officiating stage even as the demand for younger referees rises with the ever changing FIFA rules that occasions frequent trainings to stay in touch with the changes in the sport.
In the last one year, the federation has conducted a number of referee trainings both at elite and grassroots level with 61, 75 and 60 KPL, NSL and Division One referees being trained in January and a further 106 trained during the mid-season break.
The federation also trained 13 referee instructors, 38 KPL match commissioners and over 100 grassroot sreferees in Kericho, Aberdares, Kakamega, Eldoret and Coast regions in the same period, with the remaining regions set to follow in due course.
Thirty five male referees were trained in the FIFA MA (Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport) course while a similar number was also trained for the FIFA women Referees Development Course.
FKF also trained 55 referees on the FIFA Contest for Badge 2018 at Kasarani, while two referees Aden Marwa and Mary Njoroge were proposed for the FIFA Referees Elite Course, the duo attending training in Switzerland and Portugal respectively.