KSAFA trains 28 for referee jobs
The Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) should be getting additional referees soon to ease the shortage in the conference.
The Corporate Area body joined forces with USAID Comet II to train 28 young men from various inner-city communities for eight weeks to be qualified referees at a cost of $250,000.
KSAFA General Secretary Dwayne Dillon said the region has underperformed in the area of referee development and will have to take an intensive and deliberate effort to get back in the top flight of referees in the country.
KSAFA currently boasts seven Premier League teams and hosts the most football competitions at any level in Jamaica, but is woefully lacking in its referee representation and performance.
KSAFA's only FIFA referee is Karl Tyrell, while there are two assistants Garnet Page and Keeble Williams.
The shortage has often forced the postponement of KSAFA competitions, and the association has even had to look to St Catherine and Clarendon to provide match officials.
"We try to get kids between the ages of 18 to 25 because we want people to stay as long as possible," President Wayne Shaw said.
The trainees were selected by programme coordinator and Masters' League General Secretary Samantha Harvey.
They will undergo a rigorous eight-week programme, where they will learn the laws of the game, four weeks of classroom sessions, and an exam in the fifth week.
A physical training schedule will be developed for the trainees during classroom sessions and then intensified in the last three weeks of the programme.
Theory work for the programme will be conducted at the Camperdown High School from Mondays to Fridays, while practical sessions will take place at the JDF Air Wing on Saturdays.