Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is training referees using online courses to maintain their physical fitness and knowledge of the laws of the game during the ongoing novel corona virus (Covid-19) football lockdown.
The local programme is an extension of the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) online training project for Fifa referees.
FAM referees development officer Maxwell Mtonga said local Fifa Futuro III instructors are working with individual local referees and assessors on the project.
“We have Martha Nyekanyeka who is working with the individual assessors on online classes as well as the Google tests for referees while Michael Makoto is doing online Trivial Tests for both elite and non-elite referees.
“All this is being done to keep the referees and assessors active with football suspended,” he said.
The referees are, among other things, given challenging match situation video clips to discuss with the help of instructors to enhance their understanding of the game.
The 14 Malawian Fifa referees have joined their counterparts from the southern Africa region in an online training programme schedule by Cosafa.
Cosafa referees manager Felix Tangawarima said apart from discussing the challenging match situations using the video clips, the referees have daily training programmes monitored by the Cosafa regional physical coach Derek Henson.
He said: “Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we put two challenging match situation clips with lots of learning elements on our platform, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
“The instructors are then allocated to these three groups to lead the discussions. After about two hours of discussion on a clip, the Instructors then give them the correct answer with additional comments on the understanding football and other relevant information.
“Our physical coaches have designed some daily training programmes for the referees which are done in their houses or around their yards.
Henson monitors the referees training activities through their Polar watches which are linked to the regional physical coach by GPS.