CONCACAF protests FIFA move on referees

Date Published: 
2002-10-29
Source: 
Jamaica Gleaner
Page: 
B3

ZURICH, CMC:

CONCACAF, THE governing body for football in the Caribbean, North and Central America, has launched an immediate and vehement protest against a decision yesterday by the FIFA Referees Committee that "the best referees and assistants, working as trios from the same countries, should be in charge of the next FIFA World Cup".

Calling this 'the worst refereeing decision of all time', CONCACAF president Jack Warner said: "It is almost impossible to understand the sheer self interest and thoughtlessness of those who made this decision.

"This effectively means an almost impenetrable road-block for referees and assistants from CONCACAF, from Asia, from Africa, from Oceania-..indeed from all but the select few of the high and mighty countries who do not mind taking all the playing talent from elsewhere but do not want anyone else to intrude."

Warner said the confederation's refereeing development programmes are now 'cut off at the neck and shoulders'.

"One of our officials could work hard to rise through the ranks and then be cast aside because there are not two others of his standard from his country.

"Maybe the Referees Committee, in its total lack of wisdom, can tell the rest of us how to attract, retain and improve referees and assistants when they know they will never be invited to officiate at the most important events," Warner said.

CONCACAF senior vice-president Lisle Austin of Barbados, and El Salvador's Carlos Ortiz,
the confederation's two members on the FIFA Referees Committee, both spoke against
the measure which is intended to be implemented for the first time at the FIFA Youth Championship next year.