With barely four months to the final tournament of the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2018, the match officials are readying for the challenge ahead.
As part of preparations for the tournament scheduled 9-14 December 2018 in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, CAF organised a training course for prospective match officials from 14-18 July 2018 in Cairo, Egypt.
Sixteen (16) referees took part in the five-day course, which the first stage of preparations for the continental championship, which will pit together the top eight teams.
Addressing the participants, Member of the CAF Referees Committee Sidi Bekaye Magassa said the event was to test the readiness of the match officials in the areas of fitness, medical and mentally for the showpiece tournament.
“The same way teams prepare for final tournaments, referees must also go through preparatory programs to fine-tune for the task ahead. Beach Soccer is still growing in Africa, and the referees can only improve through such programs and courses.
“After the course, we will have an idea of the referees to be selected for the final tournament. The selected match officials will later undergo final preparations just before the commencement of the tournament,” said Magassa.
The participants were taken through rigorous test both practically and theoretically, and also medical screening to check their health. The instructors were Lakhdar Benchabane (Algeria),
Ali Mwebe (Uganda) and Vivien Anivana (Madagascar).
“The course was very useful and timely. For a new sport like beach soccer, referees can only get better and reach the top level through such courses. It was very intense and we (participants) learned out of new things from the instructors and amongst ourselves. The experience will come handy for the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations,” said one of the participants, Steven Louis Cuesley from Mauritius.
Meanwhile, the qualifiers for Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2018 are due for September.