Predergast rated highly in Argentina, Italy

Nodley Wright
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

JAMAICA'S SOLE representative on the field at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan Peter Prendergast has been getting rave reviews despite not being mentioned on the praise list of Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and CONCACAF president Austin 'Jack" Warner.

On Thursday while outlining plans by CONCACAF to press for an additional place in the World Cup, Warner hailed the performances of the Mexico, the United States and Costa Rica which he said represented CONCACAF well and defied the critics with their performance.

In his praise of the officials, Warner who is also a FIFA vice-president was particularly full of praise for his countryman, assistant referee Michael Ragoonath but failed to mention Prendergast who shone in a first round game between Russia and Tunisia.

"I do believe that CONCACAF's officials, like the teams, have done exceptionally well.

Brian Hall, Carlos Batres and Michael Ragoonath have stood out way ahead of their contemporaries. This is not to say that they shall necessarily move on to the next round
of the competition but we can all hold our heads very high indeed at the performance of all of
them," Warner was quoted to have said.

While Prendergast's performance as well as that of Antiguan assistant Curtis Charles appeared to have escaped Warner, others were taking notice. In an earlier conversation with the Gleaner, Prendergast said that he got good marks in the daily debriefing sessions
following his game.

"The review on my game was excellent and I have been to a couple of games and have been received well by many," Prendergast said.

"Interestingly one morning at breakfast Italian Pierluigi Collina (seen by many as the best in the world) told me that the Italian press have released statistics stating that I am in the top three in relation to the performances to date," he continued.

Prendergast also found favour in South America. "The Referees Inspector from Argentina also showed me an email with a similar comment. That was the past so now I am looking towards improving that performance to make the little people proud."

At the World Cup Prendergast said the training is intense. For those not having a game according to him, training takes place twice daily. There is also specific training for officials who are about to have a game and those returning from a game.

Their day he continued, runs from 7.30am - 8.30pm and includes trips and press interviews.

Prendergast's next appointment is the second round clash between four time winners Brazil and Belgium, a team with the record of qualifying the most times for the World Cup finals. This match takes place in Kobe in the same stadium as his first game.