By Carlos Kambaekwa
About 30 local football match officials – including three females – were subjected to an international and professional refereeing course last week under the tutelage of Zimbabwean Felix Tangawarima.
Tangawarima, who doubles up as CAF and FIFA instructor and commissioner, described the course as a resounding success and commended both the local Football Association (NFA) and FIFA for investing in match officials.
“This course came at the right time for these referees because I dealt with the various international syllabi and videos of World Cup matches as it also helps a lot with the interpretation of the rules and laws governing the game of football.”
He added that the course was part of FIFA’s initiatives of achieving uniformity in approach for the application and interpretation of the rules through consistency: “It is a high-level course and it’s standard around the world.”
Tangawarima sung praises for all participants, emphasising their high interest: “I’m very impressed with the commitment and dedication of the participants and this shows that they are willing to learn and improve because this can only make the game better.
“Obviously there are still some areas of concern – but I’m confident after this course there will be gradual improvements,” said the man who officiated at the first ever post-independent football match that pitted a Namibian Invitational that included several internationals such as the legendary Jomo Sono, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Carlos Camacho against a Zimbabwean Invitation and Spartak Moscow from Russia.
“It’s great to have him here because he knows his stuff and we can only get better lessons from him. He’s so approachable and has been here on several occasions and that allow us to relate to him easily,” said Reinhold Shikongo.
One of the female attendants was Selma Kweyo from Oshakati: “Felix is a professional teacher and so knowledgeable and this course helps with the interpretation of the rules that we always take for granted.
“We need more of this and we will certainly try by all means to plough back the experience gained here at regional level to help other potential referees and coaches.”
The 26-year-old referee assistant operates mainly in the northern lower divisions.