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Referee initiatives rolled out by Football Queensland

Football Queensland (FQ) has released their 2020-2022 Strategic Plan for football in their state and are set to begin addressing one of their key pillars to achieve over the next few years.

One of the pillars which has been identified is participation, with the aim of increasing referee numbers at the forefront.

FQ has addressed that referees are a highly important part of the game, and as such they want to double the number of registered referees by 2022.

In order to achieve this, FQ will organise some referee initiatives to be carried out in the coming months, including better recruitment, retention and support for referees across Queensland.

The first of these initiatives will be finding a State Referee Manager, which FQ believes will be the start of improved referee programs for the state.

By appointing a State Referee Manager, it will help with the growth of the game which is underpinned by the quality and quantity of referees and coaches who enhance development.

The State Referee Manager will provide a key leadership role for the key areas of referee development, such as recruitment, retention and talent identification of referees.

The appointment of the State Referee Manager will be the start of some exciting growth for football in Queensland, as the Strategic Plan starts to take shape.

Applications for the State Referee Manager position are still open until Friday the 15th November.

To find out more about the role and to apply, you can find it here: https://footballqueensland.com.au/2019/11/09/referee-initiatives-to-be-implemented-following-release-of-strategic-plan/

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

DAZN to exit deals as Twitch launches sports category

DAZN is set to exit multiple soccer broadcasting deals, while Twitch has launched a sports category and partnered with several elite soccer clubs.

UK sports streaming service DAZN is set to exit multiple soccer broadcasting deals, while Twitch has launched a sports category and partnered with several elite soccer clubs.

SportsPro has reported that DAZN will end its contract to broadcast the UEFA Champions league in Asia.

DAZN owns the rights from 2018 to 2021 for the Champions League and Europa League for Japan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Bloomberg reported that COVID-19 and the major changes to the schedule caused by the pandemic are the main reasons for DAZN seeking to back out of the agreement.

DAZN only ever launched a platform in Japan. The company ended up sublicensing the rights to other providers for the other nations. Both Bloomberg and SportsPro suggested that DAZN has made a loss on this broadcasting deal.

DAZN has also exited its deal to broadcast Serie A in Brazil, SportBusiness has reported that the streaming service has cancelled the arrangement despite there being another year left on the agreement.

The English Premier League, Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer are also broadcasted by DAZN in Brazil.

Meanwhile Twitch, a live video streaming service known for Esports and gaming, has signed strategic partnerships with Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Arsenal.

Each club will have their own channel and create content for the platform such as streaming press conferences, friendlies, or youth matches.

Twitch also created a new sports category, meaning users will be able to find all of the sports streams in one section on Twitch.

These elite European football clubs are not the only sports teams or organisations to have deals with Twitch. Some English Premier League games were streamed on the platform last month, while the Ultimate Fighting Championship, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association were also broadcast on Twitch.

Twitch also has deals with England’s Rugby Football League and America’s National Women’s Soccer League.

These sporting organisations provide a range of content for the platform – whether it be live games or reruns of famous matches such as the NBA’s ‘Top Ten Games of the Season’.

Football players across Australia to #PlayinPurple for pancreatic cancer

Football players in Australia will be pulling on their purple socks next month to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.

The #PlayinPurple campaign was started by Isabella Di Manno in 2015, after the death of her fiancée’s mother due to the illness.

Pancreatic cancer is projected to claim more lives than breast and prostate cancer with around 80 percent of diagnosed patients to die within a year.

In 2019, over 3500 players around the nation wore purple socks to raise awareness for the disease, with the campaign raising funds for research, improving diagnosis and treatment.

“The campaign continues to grow from strength to strength each year, drawing much needed attention to pancreatic cancer,” Di Manno said.

“It’s wonderful to see the participation grow across clubs, codes and regions and reading the testimonials and talking to players, it’s clear the campaign unities communities through active participation and acts as a positive talking point between people who might not necessarily know the outcomes of pancreatic cancer.”

Avner Foundation CEO Michelle Stewart added: “We are excited to see playing fields Australia-wide turned purple for pancreatic cancer, and awareness on this scale is exactly what we need to help shine a light on this disease.

“This campaign is a wonderful opportunity to increase engagement between clubs, players and the community, all participating for a very important cause – pancreatic cancer awareness.”

The campaign has been supported by Football NSW since its inception, with CEO Stuart Hodge proud to promote the cause.

“Football NSW are proud to be supporting a wonderful community initiative, combining the wonderful code of football with truly ground-breaking campaigns such as the: #PlayinPurple – Football socks campaign for the Avner Panceatic Cancer Foundation.

“We kindly encourage our football family to do their bit in getting behind this amazing initiative.”

The Manly Warringah Football Association and Sutherland Shire Football Association have also thrown its support behind the initiative.

“The Manly Warringah Football Association is proud to support Purple Sock Day to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. Grassroots football plays an important role in our Community and we encourage as many teams and clubs as possible to get behind the #PlayinPurple campaign,” MWFA CEO David Mason said.

“Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and SSFA is proud to support this important awareness-raising initiative again in 2020. The spirit of sportsmanship is wonderful as local football fields become awash with purple socks, and I encourage associations across the state to participate,” claimed SSFA General Manager Jeff Stewart.

More information about the campaign can be found here.

J. League and La Liga extend partnership

J. League and La Liga have signed an agreement to extend their strategic partnership for another three years, lasting until June 2023.

J. League and La Liga have signed an agreement to extend their strategic partnership for another three years.

It was originally signed in 2017 and the extension will see it continue from July 2020 until June 2023.

The memorandum of understanding between the leagues has seen institutional visits from league representatives and the sharing of industry expertise. The Meiji Yasuda J. League World Challenge was also held in July 2017 between Kashima Antlers and Sevilla FC.

The leagues said that going into the future they will looking to go further with their digital actions.

Collaboration will also transpire in other areas such as eSports and audio-visual piracy. Seminars and workshops will be held on areas such as governance, management and finance.

Another key area of the partnership is working on social responsibility and cooperation to carry out communications to deter racism, violence and discrimination.

Exchanges of coaches and youth players are also expected to occur.

“Our MOU with the J. League was the first that La Liga signed in Asia and we are delighted to continue growing with them. Spain and Japan are countries with a long history of friendship and exchanges, and football, as an important part of both cultures, has an important role to play in continuing this relationship,” President of La Liga, Javier Tebas said about the partnership.

J. League also clarified that players of the same nationality as a partner league do not count as foreign players. However, this regulation does not apply to strategic partner leagues, so players with a Spanish nationality will be unable to use this regulation.

“We are very pleased to continue our strategic partnership with La Liga to continue to deepen our exchanges and challenge our issues. While the world is in midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we will strive to strengthen our partnership and make our way to go through this difficult situation together,” J. League Chairman, Mitsuru Murai said in statement.

Meanwhile, a J2 League match between Omiya Ardija and Avispa Fukuoka has been cancelled following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Avispa Fukuoka.

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