Malta Football Association
Match officials, referee observers attend pre-season seminar
Sep 12, 2018
Posted in:
Referees News

The annual pre-season seminar for national grassroots, non-league match officials and referee observers was held recently at the National Sports School in Pembroke.

UEFA lecturer Alan Snoddy was the keynote speaker at the seminar which had ‘Go For Gold’ as its central theme.


Kevin Azzopardi, the Malta FA Director of Refereeing, said the same theme was adopted for the pre-season seminar for Elite Referees, held a month earlier in Germany.


“The overriding message is that one must get out of the comfort zone and work hard with the aim of reaching the highest level possible in refereeing,” Azzopardi said.


“We all have different qualities and personalities but we must be in this project together to develop the next generation of match officials – the opportunities are there for everybody who is willing to take them.


“Our philosophy is that ‘good is not good enough’ – as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the refereeing standards at all levels of Maltese football, the Refereeing Department is willing to provide the best possible education, so much so that as from this season a member within the Referees’ Committee has been appointed as Education Officer.”

During the seminar, participants took part in theoretical sessions which included a video test and a Laws of the Game test, as well as a session on the advantage rule during which UEFA match situations were analysed in small groups and the appropriate interpretation reached.


Match officials participated in separate sessions on Physical Preparation and Remote Training, Fitness Tests, Body Fat and Fitness Tests Review. These sessions, conducted by the physical trainers at the nearby Luxol Stadium, also doubled up as a team-building exercise.


Referee observers had their own dedicated sessions, focusing on several important aspects of their job. Alan Snoddy’s talk – Being a Coach not a Fault Finder – emphasised the importance the final assessment mark should reflect the contents of the whole report.


Snoddy’s other lectures focused on Management of Players (free-kick management, dissent and that mobbing must stop, time-management); Effective Communication (movement/positioning, eye-to-eye contact, use of voice) to arrive to the correct decision and Crucial Decisions in a Match (awareness, positive/negative decisions which affect it and to learn from same after self-analysis).


During all presentations and discussions, apart from continuously sharing his vast experience, Snoddy always reminded match officials to have a well-stocked, good quality ‘bag of tools’ to help them solve problems consisting, among others, of sensible interpretation and application of the Laws of the Game within the spirit of the match, personality, body language, building relationships.



Miguel Solis Vazquez, the manager responsible for the Referee Convention and the CORE Programme within the UEFA Refereeing Department, was also present for the final part of the seminar.


Vazquez was in Malta on a private visit but made it a point to attend some sessions by way of showing his support for the work of the local match officials.


He endorsed the work of the Malta FA Refereeing Centre, describing it one of the most active within UEFA, adding that the people in charge of this department are always striving to provide new and challenging opportunities for their match officials.


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