Mexican and Ecuadorian Football Associations partner to share refereeing knowledge

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The Mexican Football Association (FMF) and the Ecuadorian Football Association (FEF) came together in August to hold a two-day working session at the Mexican FA’s headquarters.

A refereeing delegation from the FEF travelled to the Mexican city of Toluca on August 17 and 18 to meet with their colleagues from the FMF and representatives from the FIFA regional offices in Panama and Paraguay.

The productive two-day session was held in the framework of the partnership agreement signed between the FEF and FMF, which benefits from the coordination and technical input of FIFA’s Member Associations Americas Subdivision. The link-up seeks to strengthen the ties between the two institutions by establishing internal processes aimed at improving the operations and efficiency of the FEF’s Refereeing Department, while also introducing improvements to the VAR implementation plan.

“In line with The Vision 2020-2023 to make football truly global, the fact that the FEF and FMF have joined forces in this novel partnership fills us at the Member Associations Americas Subdivision with pride,” Javier Gonzalez said in a statement, coordinator at FIFA’s Regional Development Office in Asuncion.

“Over the course of the two years, the associations will have the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge on matters relating to refereeing, which is such a key area within the game. Our visit to the FMF proved to be beneficial. Our colleagues from the Mexican FA offered an overview of their processes in terms of refereeing and how technology has enabled them to achieve greater efficiency.”

Representatives from the Ecuadorian FA’s Referees Committee were able to present their new processes and receive feedback from their counterparts at the Mexican FA, in order to learn about the best refereeing practice implemented by the FMF both on and off the field and analyse every stage of the implementation of the VAR system in Mexico.

The visitors from Ecuador were also offered a first-hand insight into the workings of the Liga MX’s centre for technological innovation, where cutting-edge technology enables staff members to analyse player and referee performance and carry out analysis that enhances decision-making.

“I’m sure we’ll be able to introduce many of these elements within our association and we’ve learned some key points that we hadn’t even considered,” Rogger Zambrano said via FIFA, president of the FEF’s Referees Committee.

Armando Archundia, president of the Mexican FA’s Referees Committee, added via FIFA:

“The most important thing is to exchange views on working methods, both in technical and administrative areas. When I say technical, I’m referring to the work we’re doing on the field of play, including our efforts to guide young, aspiring referees on their journey to becoming top-flight or international referees. As for the administrative areas, it’s all about how to make a refereeing appointment, assess a referee on the basis of a range of objectives, including ratings relating to fitness or technique, knowledge of the rules, and, above all, how they perform on the field of play.”

However, the reach of this particular project extends beyond achieving specific results in relation to refereeing. Over the course of recent months, the two institutions have witnessed just how important it is for FIFA member associations to cooperate with a view to promoting the development of the game globally.

In this regard, FMF’s Inigo Riestra said via FIFA:

“The most important thing is to ensure that all member associations operate to the same standard. One of FIFA’s goals is to allow its associations to grow. Another key element and one that we perhaps didn’t initially realise is that improving refereeing across the world benefits us all. Although the Mexican FA oversees Mexican referees, there’s no question that in the near future, an Ecuadorian referee will take charge of a fixture involving our national team at an international competition. So, at the end of the day, improving refereeing standards globally benefits all national teams.”

The partnership agreement remains in place, with the final phase set to see the Ecuadorian FA present all of the improvements and new processes that have been introduced on the basis of the best practice shared by the Mexican FA and the support offered by FIFA in the context of this agreement, as well as world football’s governing body’s updated refereeing strategy, its Regulations on the Organisation of Refereeing and the improvements made to the VAR system across its main competitions.

An amenities refresher for NSW grassroots custodian

The NSW Football Legacy Program has worked in conjunction with the Bayside Council in providing $150,000 to the Bexley North Football Club (BNFC) who join the vast growing number of successful applicants of the Infrastructure Stream, which is the second round screening process.

The Football Legacy program is a $10 million investment founded by the NSW Government. The program’s intention is to continue the established growth of female football through freshly refurbished community facilities.

Furthermore, development programs, participation initiatives and potential ventures involving tourism and international engagement are all at the forefront of the overall objective the NSW government has regarding the growth of football within the state.

The $150,000 grant in which BNFC are receiving is going to be spent sparingly. Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve is in dire need of a rejuvenation, given the club’s recent rise to popular interest within the Football St George Association, BNFC experienced an astounding spike in membership.

Since the 2021 season, the club witnessed a spike in members, a 35% increase surge in overall involvement, highlighted by a 40% increase in female involvement.

The traffic that the club began to experience was a confronting yet exciting time for the community operated club. Their previous facilities could not cater for the extravagant influx of participants, hence the club opting to collaborate with the Bayside Council.

The grant successfully attained will be used to upgrade the amenities at Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve from top to bottom. The newly furbished facility has hosts a conference room, referee room, medical room, canteen, and storage area.

Further funding requested by BNFC is expected to be utilized in rejuvenating the current change rooms and bathrooms, as well as a through fixup of the established home and away locker rooms. The end goal insight, is to accommodate highly regarded women’s footballing outlets in the future.

BNFC President Eddie Yazbeck, mentioned the importance of what this grant will provide.

“We have worked closely with Bayside Council to develop a site plan for Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve and together we applied for the NSW Football Legacy Fund to help make our vision a reality,” he said via press release. 

“This grant will deliver a much-needed infrastructure upgrade, addressing concerns such as accessibility and safety, improved canteen facilities, storage for our kits, change rooms for players and referees.”

The Facilities and Grants Officer at Football NSW, James Spanoudakis, also added via media release. 

“Amenity buildings are the heart and soul of all football clubs across NSW,” he said.

The new amenities is expected to be completed towards the conclusion of 2024, ready to go for the 2025 winter season.   

Melbourne City proudly unveil their state-of-the-art-facilities

Melbourne City have proudly showcased their clubs latest project through the unveiling of their new state-of-the-art-facility, located at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

The City Football Academy Melbourne continues to push the already established high-standards in which football across Australia are beginning to reach. The facility will host the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the club’s grassroot program, and an administration office is also involved in the newly developed location.

The Melbourne based club were inspired by their British parent and European juggernauts Manchester City have some of, if not the best facilities in world football. Melbourne City’s latest facility was developed in accordance to the structure and framework relating to Manchester City.

Within the newly furnished building, it’s features are acknowledged to stand out amongst other rival A-League entity’s. A 60-seat theatre and community classroom was installed to host club officials and guests, 16 changerooms combined with Hydrotherapy pools and two gyms, all designed to propel their playing personnel in achieving their peak athletic condition. Administration spaces where also created for Sports Science, Sports Medicine and club officials to all reside in.

The official opening took place on April 10 by City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, and Melbourne City FC Vice Chairman Simon Pearce.

Located at the Casey Fields Sporting precinct in which is building quite the resume within the tenants it has acquired in various codes of sport across the state. The 5,900m2 facility that City now possess in their arsenal sits on eleven hectares of land, upon it they have five different football pitches, with varying surfaces.

The opportunities in which this facility presents to football fans and participants alike, are in abundance, 3,500 aspiring young football participants will be able to use the facilities on offer, with many more able to spectate City matches in which may be played at their Academy.

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse stated via press release:

“This amazing facility will be the new home to our Men’s, Women’s, Academy, and Administration teams, and will allow us to come together under the one roof to train, share ideas and challenge each other every single day.

“We’re setting new standards for football in Australia and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, on and off the pitch.”

With the latest edition of the McDonald’s City Cup being played at the newly launched facility, the tournament was a token showcasing that the clubs elite are not the only ones who will benefit from the facility but also local footballing communities in addition.

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