FAM President Walter Nyamilandu Manda has advised upcoming referees to desist from corrupt practices if they are to stay long in the game.
Nyamilandu Manda made the remarks when he presided over the closing ceremony of a five- day FIFA young talented referees course at Mpira Village in Blantyre on Saturday morning.
Nyamilandu Manda said it was important for Malawi to host such an important course in order to develop top talent for the future of the game.
“The fact that we organized this course, we take them as an integral part of football. We can not have a game without these referees because they are very important in as far as the game of football is concerned.
“Referees can spoil the beautiful game of football. As FAM, we are looking at these referees to improve the game. Sometime, they error not because they are not competent enough. They deliberately commit errors because they are biased. So I am urging them not to side with teams.
“They need to maintain high levels of professionalism so that we improve and make the beautiful game something worthy watching, and at the end of the day, they also help themselves to grow in the game. They should stay away from handouts,” he said.
“This course has been organized to bridge the gap between the current referees and these upcoming referees. We don’t want to have a situation where the current referees have retired, and we have no one to replace them. These are the guys to take over. We need to embrace change, the world is changing, and we also need to move with time. We have to teach them the modern way of officiating games and I am very happy to have hosted such an important course.”
The FAM boss has also vowed to keep track of the trained referees, saying losing them would be a blow to the game.
“We might lose you guys due to different reasons, but as FAM, we will do whatever it takes to keep them because if we lose them, then all effort is in vain. I am also urging them to do further with school in order to learn other spears of life so that they become good referees. They must have a career so that they grow. They must have passion for the game so that they do the job in a professional way,” he explained.
He then advised the National Referees Committee to widen the catchment area in order to discover more talent to meet the demands of the game.
“We need to widen the catchment area for referees because the demand is high. We have very few of them. I am more inspired by what I have seen today. The game needs new ideas and new innovations, and these are the people who can provide that for us.
On her part, FIFA Technical Coach from Zambia, Gladys Lengwe, who was facilitating the course, pleaded with FAM to protect the upcoming referees in order to get the best out of them.
“After going through this course for five days, we have seen a potential in these young referees, and we have seen the future in them as long as they are accommodated. They are young and vulnerable, and it will require the refereeing department to take interest and to try and monitor their development to help them achieve their goals.
“They are young, prone to errors, but they shouldn’t be crucified because they are in the developing process where they will fall in the way. They will meet a lot of people that will try to and destruct their careers, so it will be up to the instructors and FAM to help them so that they maintain these youngsters and improve in the careers.
Retired Referee Moffat Champiti also echoed Nyamilandu’s sentiments on the need to develop more players in order to have a smooth transition when the current set of referees retires from the game.
“We have already asked FAM to give us resources in order to follow up these talented referees for the betterment of the game,” he said.
He also emphasized on how important the course was in opening the eyes of both the facilitators and the participants.
“It was an eye opener for us to have this opportunity in order to close the gap which is currently there where the current crop referees are retiring but we haven’t done much interms of replacing them. We needed this course in order to start making some strides and it has come at the right time so we are very grateful to FIFA and FAM for giving us this opportunity,” he concluded.
Micheal Moffat Mwambyale, who is also officiating in the elite league, described the five-day course as a timely boost to his and fellow participants’ careers.
“Laws of the game keep on changing and we have been equipped with new knowledge of the game and how to manage the games so its a boost for us in our respective careers because we have learnt a lot from our facilitators who were knowledgeable to share us new developments in the game.
“Just like our facilitator, we dream of officiating at World Cups and major tournaments and this is where all begins for us as talented referees,” he said.
The course attracted 30 participants aged between 14 and 25.