Thirty-three match Elite match officials are currently in Lindabrunn, Austria for a five day training camp.
This year’s theme is ‘Aiming Higher’ and FIFA Instructor Steve Bennett (England) is the main speaker at this annual event being organised by the MFA Refereeing Department in preparation for the 2015/2016 season.
FIFA Referee Istvan Kovacs (Romania) and Elite Referee Robert Harvey (Republic of Ireland) are attending the training camp as part of the collaboration with both countries.
Referees’ Fitness Coach Ronald Zammit is conducting daily training sessions while Charles Agius, Philip Agius, Alexander Arena, Kevin Azzopardi and Adrian Casha are the local instructors delivering technical instructions.
FIFA Referee Harald Lechner from Austria was a guest speaker, sharing his experience about ‘Effective Teamwork and Cooperation’.
The training camp includes also various outdoor practical sessions with the participation of local young players to cover areas such as fouls and misconduct, offside and freekick management.
All participants were tested in English language proficiency, interpretation of match incidents, Laws of the Game knowledge and evaluation of onside/offside situations.
Body composition tests were also carried out to ensure that match officials are provided with appropriate professional advice on their physical preparation and appearance.
The Maltese contingent were visited by Maltese Ambassador Keith Azzopardi and Austrian FA Referees’ Committee Chairman Robert Sedlacek at their base in Lindabrunn.
This training camp caught the attention of ORF (Osterreichischer Rundfunk), the Austrian national public service broadcaster. A TV Crew from Austria’s national TV Station filmed one of the outdoor practical sessions and interviewed FIFA Instructor Steve Bennett, Director of Refereeing Adrian Casha and FIFA Referees Esther Azzopardi and Clayton Pisani.