Call for more BFA referees

. . . but Bajans making their mark with FIFA

Manager for the referees department at the Barbados Football Association (BFA), Mark Forde, would like to see more of Barbadian referees getting appointments in Champions League Football.

However, Forde pointed out he was pleased with the overall appointment of Barbadian referees by FIFA.

Mark Forde
Mark Forde, manager of the referees department of the BFA

“I am pleased with the appointments that we have been getting. I, however, would like to see more appointments in the Champions League because that is where you get some of the best clubs from Canada, America, Mexico and the Central American region. So I would like to see our referees doing a bit more of that and I would like to see our referees involved in the finals of the CONCACAF Under-17, Under-20 and hopefully in the Caribbean Cup final that would be played in Jamaica,” he said.

The manager added that both male and female referees which include FIFA appointed referees Adrian Skeete, Trevor Taylor and Gillian Martindale along with Clifton Garnes, Adrian Goddard and Shannon Gibson, have been used during the Under-17, Under-20, CONCACAF Champions League and Caribbean Cup.

Gibson in particular was given special mention because the BFA would be seeking to put her name forward on the FIFA list for next year as an assistant referee.

“One of the candidates we would be looking to put on the FIFA list for next year is Shannon Gibson who is a new candidate and we are putting her on the list as an assistant referee. She also had the opportunity to go to the girls’ Under-15 CONCACAF competition in Cayman Island in which Barbados also participated,” Forde said.

When contacted by Barbados TODAY, Gibson said her intention was to go as far as possible in her refereeing career but at this point her main aim was to get on the FIFA list and afterwards look to emulate the likes of Barbados’ highest qualified female international referee Gillian Martindale.

“My goal is to reach the level Gillian Martindale has or even higher and I would love to work alongside her one day where she would be in the middle and I would be the ER in a game. I would love to do that on the big stage. She and I do games together; she actually helps me with my training and pass on her knowledge to me along with Trevor Taylor and Adrian Goddard,” Gibson said.

She explained refereeing was something she never considered until her coach Adrian Mapp encouraged her to do the course in 2012.

Shannon Gibson
Shannon Gibson

“I have been into refereeing for a year and because I actually used to play football my coach told me to do the referees course in 2012 and I just did it because he told me so. I was not taking it seriously because I was only focused on playing football. Afterwards I realize there were various opportunities in refereeing and everybody kept telling me I could get further in refereeing than playing football and I said I will take a try,” said the 23-year-old.

The former Lester Vaughan student said: “It is hard battling with work and then having to train and still have games in between but I see the bigger picture and nothing in life comes easy. I want to make the list then the hardest part is keeping fit and being up to par with the knowledge.”

Gibson added she recently came back from the Under-15 girls CONCACAF competition where she saw the potential for women to get involved in refereeing and encouraged other local girls to get involved.

“I would encourage more girls to get into refereeing even though most girls who play the game are like how I was, concentrating on football and not taking the rest serious. I believe seeing is believing. The hardest thing is to pass the course and then you get recommended. So as it relates to me I had to take that step to see what it is all about because you hear people say things but you are still not sure.

“I would like girls to get involved in refereeing because when I went to the Cayman Island I was the only female representative from Barbados while other countries had like three or more referees there,” she said.

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