Elite Course to Sharpen Ugandan Referees


doctor geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The first of its kind 3 in one course in Uganda is designed for the Match assessors, rx fitness instructors and active referees.

By close of business this Friday, Jinja will be seeing the backs of over 70 participants being ferried back to Kampala in the Uganda Cranes bus.

However, the question is-will the participants have benefited from the course that started on Monday this week?

Tangawarima takes through the FUFA media team on the importance of this course.

About the Elite Referees Course

The Elite referees’ course was started in 2008 but we felt that there were few people who were monitoring the performance and progress of the referees.

FIFA the started courses for assessors and referees where same information was passed on to the two groups but the only difference was that the assessors would not be subjected to the practical work on the pitch.

This integrated training brought I the aspect of technical and physical in a bid to develop both the assessors and referees which would enhance football in Uganda.

75% of the course is purely for practical lessons

Tangawarima says that the referees are supposed to be very active during such courses as it helps them spot their weaknesses and later improve. The practical lessons cover the biggest part of the course as it is the most effective way of benefiting from the training. The remainder (25%) is for the theory part in classes.

“Referees can memorise everything but the problem is with the practical part where we give them a lot of support of up to 75%,” said Tangawarima.

Tangawarima is happy with what he has already seen about Ugandan referees both for the period he has been in the country and those he has met at international level.

Match assessors are custodians of the standards of refereeing

This is a highly technical group of people tasked in development of football through refereeing in a country, according to Tangawarima.

“Assessors are custodians of the standards of refereeing in Uganda. It is not an institution of retired referees,” added Tangawarima.

The assessors are referees’ supervisors and must be more knowledgeable than the men and women who handle matches.

Tangawarima says that most assessors are doing voluntary work but he is impressed that the Uganda group has shown 100% commitment during the course.

He adds that FIFA wants to make use of the assessors from the highest to the lowest level so that the referees and other stake holders can understand the value of this group.

“The assessors are developers not destroyers of referees. They have to groom the referees into a good product we would like to see on the pitch handling a match.”

He added that the assessors must not be a factor to affect the performance of referees.

On Referees

It is mandatory from FIFA that a referee can only handle a match if physically and medically fit.

The referee must pass the physical tests conducted only by the football federation-in this case FUFA or FIFA.

If a referee fails a test, he or she should not be assigned any match to handle.

He can only officiate after being re-tested and passed. It is embarrassing for a referee to fail a fitness test.

Discipline is paramount and referees need must listen to the authorities who run football.

Young referees are encouraged to work hard as the future will be brighter for them.

FIFA would like to see younger referees come through the ranks to replace those who will have retired in future.


The younger referees can help in matching up the athleticism of the game which nowadays has players in the age groups of 18-22.

On Uganda’s women referees

Uganda should be proud of Aisha Semambo and Diana Mukasa.

Last year in Cairo, Semambo topped the list of the Elite B referees (for both men and women) in Africa.

Mukasa has traversed the continent handling CAF and FIFA sanctioned games. These are signs that women referees from Uganda are doing a good job.

On FUFA’s role regarding the referees

No other body is allowed to suspend the referees.

It is the responsibility of the federation through their referees’ body to discipline any cases of indiscipline.

On the public’s knowledge about the laws of the game

It is FUFA’s role to make sure that the general public understands the laws of the game.

Refereeing information should be disseminated through various media forums.

The public needs to understand and appreciate the application of the amended laws of the game-especially the offside rule (Law 11).

Mark Mzengo on the Elite course

He specifically handled the fitness sessions for instructors and referees during the course.

He was at Mandela National stadium on Tuesday and witnessed over 30 referees take part in the sprints and endurance sessions before they boarded the bus to Jinja.

He says that a referees us be fit before the game, during the warm ups then the action proper.

They must be ready for the full 90 minutes, in cases of extra time and penalty shoot outs.

The referees are meant to have proper training.

He adds that the referees must have proper warm ups of between 20-30 minutes before any game.

“The instructors we have in this curse should be able to pass on information to other referees in the various regions in Uganda,” said Mzengo.

Mzengo revealed that CAF is in the process of coming up with the standardised warm up for all referees before any match.



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