New gear, enhanced equipment for football referees

The presentation is a part of GFF’s continuous efforts to professionalise the sport in Guyana.

During his brief address, GFF President Forde thanked the referees for their commitment to maintaining high standards in the game.

He shared that he was happy the match officials involved in a recent vehicular accident are recovering well and emphasised that the GFF will address changing transportation arrangements for referees who officiate late-night matches.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our match officials involved in the recent accident. We cannot continue to roll the dice on this one. We will continue to have serious discussions on the required changes regarding the transportation of referees following late matches.”

Forde underscored that professionalising football involves ensuring uniformity among the officials who serve as authoritative figures on the pitch.

“Referees are (the) standard bearers of football. They are the ones who help us to maintain the standards in terms of quality of play, quality of behaviour and ensuring that the rules are adhered to on the pitch.

“I strongly feel that if they project a shabby image, they will be treated that way. Professionalising the sport in Guyana must include the uniformity of our referees. I believe if you have a team of officials walking onto a pitch looking sharp, exuding confidence and professionalism, it gives them added authority in terms of how they dispense their duties.”

He urged the officials to wear the gear and use the equipment with “the same pride, dignity and distinction you have consistently exhibited over the years while representing the Guyana Football Federation.”

GFF Council Member Dion Inniss called upon the Federation’s membership and the wider football community to support match officials as the structure for referees overseeing late-night matches is evaluated.

“These are the times when we call on our membership and the wider football community to remember that our match officials too need all the support that they can get. Compassion sometimes is seriously lacking.

“We will have to have an earnest conversation regarding changes as to how we operate, regarding very late matches that seem to have become the norm.”

He emphasised that at the centre of the discourse will be “logistics and the question of ensuring that proper transportation arrangements are put in place so that a tired official would not have to be driving in the wee hours of the morning.”

Inniss noted that referees have received apparel and equipment in the past to ensure they are continually “well equipped to officiate in the numerous tournaments added to the schedule.”

In recent years, the GFF has dedicated efforts to establish a distinct identity for national teams and officials as part of their pursuit to professionalise the game.

(Release and photos: GFF)