Monrovia — Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Mustapha Raji has urged referees to give their best at all times, especially during matches.
Raji said referees are criticized for all the wrong or right reasons, sometimes, by people, who don't understand the laws of the game.
He called on referees to give 99-percent of their best because critics will still find reasons to have the one percent.
Raji was speaking at a refereeing debriefing workshop at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on 23 January.
"When I was running to be your servant in 2018, I promised to do a lot for referees because you are a cardinal part of the game. With my interaction and support of the executive committee, six referees went to Saudi Arabia last year for training.
"Two referees also went to Morocco where they learned about VAR . We have increased the indemnities of referees and other match officials. We want to raise the bar higher than we met it," said Raji.
He encouraged referees to learn new things because the world is advancing daily with technologies.
"There are new things that are happening every day around the world. There was no VAR yesterday. So, we aren't targeting anyone or trying to get rid of anyone when we introduced computer knowledge because no one will make your report [for you in the competitions management system].
"So, do your best to serve football because there will always be critics. In fact, criticisms help to make our work better. On behalf of the executive committee, I hereby declared this workshop officially opened," added Raji.
LFA secretary-general Kollie A. Dorko said he was happy to be part and learn new things.
"It is always good to have a review session like this to learn from past mistakes in order to prepare you for the future," Atty. Dorko said.
Former FIFA-badged referee and LFA secretary-general Idrissa Kaba said the debriefing session is important.
"We never had debriefing session when I was a referee. You learned from your own mistakes or someone's mistakes all by yourself but today we are having this session for you and with you to learn from your own mistakes," said Kaba, who is a member of the LFA refereeing committee.
The interaction should have been held at the ATS on 21 January but was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.
One hundred (100) referees and assistant referees (18 females and 82 males) were selected from Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, Margibi and Nimba Counties.
The session will be facilitated by instructors Stanley Konah, Stephen Kafi, Jr., Benedict A. Yarsiah and Alex Nagbo.
Atty. Yarsiah lectured on the regulations governing the refereeing department and committee.
Konah, Kafi and Nagbo debriefed the first phase of the 2022/2023 Orange national league, including the statistics on yellow and red cards.