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Caf, Fifa to select top 24 African referees into refereeing “Star Project”

Caf and Fifa are to select 24 top African referees into a project called refereeing “Star Project”.

The two bodies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Caf’s 13th Extraordinary General Assembly in Egypt on Friday, November 26 to kick start the project.

The refereeing “Star Project” will pioneer the advancement of professional refereeing in Africa.

Fifa Chairman of Referees Pierluigi Collina made a presentation to the Extraordinary General Assembly on the Fifa refereeing “Star Project”. 

He said: “Fifa is dedicated to supporting the African refereeing stars of today, but also to develop the Caf refereeing stars of tomorrow.

“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 professionalize refereeing in Africa, but they will also give something back to the young referees in their member associations so, in a way, they can eventually become the instructors themselves.”

The MOU was signed by Caf President Patrice Motsepe and Fifa President Gianni Infantino.

The project aims to produce world-class referees from the African continent and also contribute towards the development of referees in the 54 Caf Member Associations.   

Fifa President Infantino said: “Refereeing is such an important element of football. We have to professionalize and elevate the level of refereeing in Africa and ensure that we have the referees that are in the best conditions. 

“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 in this great continent.”

Caf President Motsepe said: “Africa is embarking on a journey that will see this continent play a very impactful role in global football.

“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 at the Fifa 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 qualities of referees. With this partnership with Fifa, we are taking practical steps to move in that bold direction.”

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