By Neto Baptiste
Former FIFA referee and executive member of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Curtis Charles, believes he is the right man to head the newly announced referees department which is set to operate out of the national governing body’s head office in Paynters.
Revealing that he has applied for the post, Charles pointed out that the department is a FIFA mandated position and should have been in place years ago.
“I enquired maybe about six years ago about it but as you know, in Antigua it’s a lot of runaround when it comes to referees because people don’t take referees serious so I have applied for the job. I think that I have the experience and the capability of doing the work. If the FA thinks there is someone capable of doing the job then so be it but I want to see that position filled, even if not by me, someone who has that referees background,” he said.
Charles, one of the country’s most decorated officials having gone to the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea, believes the establishing of the FIFA mandated referees department is key to solving a number of the issues currently affecting the body and has urged the local association to move swiftly in finalizing the department.
“We need to establish the referees department which FIFA has mandated since 10 years ago and that is still not in place and that actually plays a key part in terms of the development of referees [because] that person would be there and assisting with the referees committee to help recruit referees,” the former referee said.
Earlier this month, the football association announced the setting up of the referees’ department, adding that they had already received several applications for the job.
A referees’ department would be responsible for all training, recruitment and retention of referees. The department will also prepare game-day schedules and ensure referees are equipped with the proper gears and equipment to get the job done.
Currently, former referee and ABFA executive member, Rolston James, is head of the FA’s referees committee which currently manages the process on the association’s behalf.