Ongwediva — The Vice-Chairperson of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) executive committee in the Ohangwena Region, Sammy Mushelenga, says 12 referees from all over the region attended a five-day training course last week.
Speaking to Nampa in an interview on Tuesday, Mushelenga pointed out that the training was held at the Engela Lutheran Church Centre at the northern border town of Helao Nafidi from Monday to Friday.
Eleven of the referees were from the Ohangwena Region, while one, Israel Kaongo, was from the Oshana Region.
"Patrick Hekandjo and Kaongo qualified to officiate at First Division games throughout the country, while the rest were trained for football games in the lower divisions, such as the Second Division," Mushelenga noted.
The training focused mainly on the new refereeing rules of the Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa).
"None of the referees in the first and second divisions in the country had received training on the new Fifa rules yet and the Ohangwena Region grabbed the opportunity to become the first region to update its referees with the new world soccer rules," he said.
The training was also intended to prepare the referees in the region for the upcoming football season, as well as to improve the image of the game.
Fifa referees instructor Arvo Mufeti and Fifa referees fitness instructor Spike Hidengwa conducted the training, which was initiated and organised by the NFA regional executive committee.
"Earlier this year, we also conducted a three-day consultative workshop for team managers, coaches, referees and NFA regional executive members. During this workshop we tackled football by-laws and NFA rules and regulations with the aim to improve our football in the region," Mushelenga explained.
A training clinic targeting only coaches of the Ohangwena Region will also be conducted before the region kicks off with its 2012/13 football season.