Local Ref Doing Well

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

JAMAICAN referee, Owen Powell, who is serving as a linesman in the eighth World Youth Football Cup has been retained to serve up to the end of the Championships.

Glen Neil-Dwyer, the first Jamaican and West Indian to be appointed a FIFA referee while serving in Nigeria, and who is a former former referees' secretary, said reports from the Caribbean Football Union that Powell had created history were not correct. He said John Cente was the first Caribbean official to have been accorded this honour while serving in a similar capacity in Japan during the 1993 tournament.

Powell's achievement, according to Caribbean Football Union Director of Communications Rolf Doyle, is a credit to Jamaica and the region as a whole. Out of the complement of 32 officials, 16 linesmen and an equal number of referees, only the services of eight in each category were retained. Powell was among those for his excellent and unstinting service rendered during the tournament.

Those whose services were retained are: Botero Walker (Colombia), Galvan Soto (Paraguay), Ghadanfari (Kuwait), Nilson (Sweden), Powell (Jamaica), Rugooputh (Mauritius), Soldatos (South Africa) and Wickramatunga (Sri Lanka).

Linesman Powell was appointed to officiate in the semi-final clash between Spain and Argentina yesterday evening. The Jamaican referee, who is on his fourth trip as a FIFA linesman, was appointed a FIFA referee in March of 1992. Powell, who is one of the most respected officials in local football, according to Neil-Dwyer, was first promoted to the rank of a grade one referee in 1986.

Linesman Powell officiated in several matches, with an average of eight out of a maximum 10 throughout. In the preliminary round he officiated in matches Chile vs. Japan, Australia vs. Cameroon, Netherlands vs. Portugal and in the quarter-finals Brazil vs. Japan.

CFU President Jack Warner also recalled the history Powell made in 1990 World Cup Finals when he served as a match Commissary in that competition more than anybody else in the history of the sport — 12 out of 52 matches. In Qatar he has so far performed in 11 out of 28 matches to date.