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WC Qualification Africa

Fifa, Caf sign historic 'Star Project' for Africa referees' development

13:41 SAST 2021/11/29
Caf' Patrice Motsepe, Fifa's Gianni Infantino and Pierluigi Collina.
Some 24 top candidates from across Africa, men and women, will be picked to participate in the programme

Fifa and Caf have signed a memorandum of understanding that is set to begin a new era of referees' development and advancement in Africa.

The agreement for the 'Star Project' initiative was signed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino and his African counterpart Patrice Motsepe in Cairo, Egypt at Caf's 13th extra-ordinary general assembly.

Generally, the major target is to produce top referees from among the 54 member associations of Caf.

"Refereeing is such an important element of football. We have to professionalise and elevate the level of refereeing in Africa to ensure that we have referees that are in the best condition," Infantino said.

"This historic MoU is just an example of how Fifa and Caf can work together to raise the standards of the different aspects of football on this great continent."

Motsepe stated Caf is eager to ensure they play a major role as far as world football is concerned.

 "Africa is embarking on a journey that will see this continent play a very impactful role in global football," the South African said.

"We are clear, Africa must be the best and must produce the best; not just players, but administrators, but also referees. We want to see African referees officiating in the World Cup finals and we want to see our match officials excelling. 

"As Caf, we are fully backing the talent we have in Africa and the quality of referees. With this partnership with Fifa, we are taking practical steps to move in that bold direction.

"We are grateful to have a Fifa president who is deeply committed to our cause – the cause to advance the development of football." 

Collina's Take

Fifa's chairman of referees, Pierluigi Collina, made a presentation to the assembly on how the goals of the ‘Refereeing Star Project' can be achieved. 

"Fifa is dedicated to supporting the African refereeing stars of today, but also to developing the Caf refereeing stars of tomorrow," the retired veteran referee said.

"To achieve that, Fifa and Caf want to identify 24 top candidates from across Africa, men and women, to participate in this project. 

"We strongly believe that these referees will not only further professionalise refereeing in Africa, but they will also give something back to the young referees in their member association, so, in a way, they can eventually become the instructors themselves."