By Moses Nyirenda
Lilongwe City Council (LCC) through its sports department has drilled 14 junior referees of under-17 football players in refereeing techniques as a way of empowering youngsters to take part in refereeing junior football matches.
Among the trained junior referees, eight are boys while six are girls drawn from various football clubs (FCs) from Lilongwe City which include Chilinde, Guduli, Skippers, Kamuzu Barracks Youth and DD Sunshine FC.
They have been trained in 17 rules of the game which comprise the field of play, duration of the match, ball in and out of play, method of scoring, and offside and goal kick just to mention some.
Speaking on Thursday during the closing of a three-day junior referees training at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe, LCC’s Sports Officer, Grace Thera- Chirambo said they decided to drill the referees after noticing shortage of young football referees in the country.
“We noticed that most of the under-17 football games in the country are refereed by adults, for this reason we decided to conduct a short course to drill young people to equip them with the knowledge of refereeing.
“This will enable them officiate football matches at lower level,” Chirambo said.
She added that their mission was to help nurture professional football players and referees in the country starting from grassroot level.
“Football is a great sport in every country, so as a council, we are committed to developing football starting from the young ones so that they should grow with it and become professionals.
“In addition, we also want to assist in grooming more football referees,” she said.
One of the DD Sunshine FC players who attended the training, Gladys Banda applauded LCC for organizing the training, saying the knowledge which she had gained would enable her officiate football games in a professional manner.
Instructor from National Referees Association under Football Association of Malawi (FAM), Simon Jovinala also commended LCC for its gesture, saying it would raise football standards in the country from the bottom stage.-MANA