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Football Queensland introduces first year referee initiative

Ahead of the 2020 season getting underway, Football Queensland (FQ) have introduced a new initiative for all first-year referees.

In an announcement by FQ, all registered first year referees for the 2020 season will wear a teal shirt during matches to be identified as those taking up refereeing for the first time during the course of the year.

This initiative is one that will help respect and support new first year referees as they become accustomed to their role, while providing them with a welcoming environment that will allow them to enjoy learning more about refereeing and continually looking to build their skills.

By implementing the teal shirt initiative, it will align with recently-released 2020-2022 Strategic Plan for football in Queensland, which has a clear focus on bettering the experience for everyone involved in the game during the next three years.

One of the key areas FQ have focused on is referees, aiming to increase the participation rate by building the numbers of match officials across the state, by offering greater support and opportunities to develop to the best of their ability.

The teal shirt initiative is the first of many referee initiatives that will be rolled out in the next coming months, looking at ways to improve recruitment, retention and support for referees throughout Queensland.

Source: https://footballqueensland.com.au/2019/11/22/fq-announces-teal-shirt-initiative-for-first-year-referees/

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

The FA forced into job cuts amid Covid-19

The Football Association (FA) has been forced into 124 job cuts as they try to fight their losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Football Association (FA), English soccer’s governing body, has been forced into 124 job cuts as they try to fight their losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

FA chairman Greg Clarke has confirmed that all areas of the organisation will be affected, as a redundancy programme will see a large number of positions removed.

“All areas of the FA will be affected,” he said.

“We need to save UK£75 million a year and we’ve got a UK£300 million potential hole to fill over the next four years.”

Of the total 124 jobs to be made redundant, 42 of those will be achieved by stopping further recruitment. It leaves 82 positions that will have to be cut in order to save costs.

It’s been reported that the FA is bracing for a potential deficit of UK£300 million (AU$536 million) over the next four years due to the coronavirus.

“We have a responsibility to preserve our core functions that regulate and serve English football,” FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said.

“We also have a duty to support our men’s and women’s senior teams in their efforts to win major tournaments. That means we have set out in our proposals some difficult choices because we do not think we can afford to do all the things that we did before.

“We believe the impact of this crisis is to force us to focus more than ever on our key priorities.”

Despite the English professional leagues getting their season restarts underway recently, the FA has already lost revenue given it’s the first bit of league action since the nationwide shutdown in March.

“It might seem that football has weathered the storm by getting the top-flight men’s game playing again,” Bullingham said.

“However, unfortunately the past few months have impacted the FA severely and we have lost a significant amount of money that we can never recoup.”

Associations such as the FA have the opportunity to receive a loan from Fifa, under the global governing body’s Covid-19 relief plan. However, it’s been reported that the FA has opted against taking advantage of the loan on offer by Fifa, despite them being forced into the job cuts.

Football Victoria release update after lockdown setback

Football Victoria have announced they are currently considering the implications for football in the state, after the government enforced a lockdown on certain postcodes earlier today.

Beginning at 11:59pm on Wednesday, the postcodes in Victoria that will be locked down include: 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021, 3046.

Individuals living in suburbs under those postcodes will be required to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions.

“FV understands that no football activities can continue in those postcodes, and residents in these postcodes are not permitted to travel outside their postcodes for the purposes of football,” the governing body stated on Tuesday evening.

“We understand this will affect a number of clubs and participants at both the NPL and Community level.

“As a result, FV is now considering its position regarding the resumption of competitions, some of which were due to commence this coming weekend.

“FV’s intention is to continue to run competitions where possible – within part of a geographic footprint if required – where clubs are unaffected by this announcement.

“Guidance to all clubs, participants and stakeholders will be provided as quickly as possible, once further clarity has been established as to how this affects our Return to Play plan.

“We will continue to liaise with Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to obtain the latest information.

“We understand the football community’s desire to gain further information, however until FV is able to obtain further detail and make decisions on each level of competition, we are unable to provide responses to individual queries.”

Football Victoria also claimed they were prepared to release competition fixtures in the next few days, however adjustments will now be made in line with the recent announcement by the Victorian Premier.

The governing body will provide further updates to the football community on Wednesday.

First batch of matches completed in Japan

Japan’s second and third divisions of football were resumed over the weekend as the first batch of matches have been completed to begin the restart.

In total, 16 matches were played between the two divisions, making it the first competitive outing across Japan since all play was suspended in late February.

The J2 second division held nine matches in the second round of the league, while the J3 third division had seven matches in what was their opening round of the season. All matches were played behind closed doors.

However, for the moment fans won’t be able to attend matches, as one of the main strict protocols that the top-flight J1 League has imposed. They must be followed in order for matches to continue safely in a week’s time.

Measures such as regular testing for players and staff every two weeks, plus new rules when training and travelling are key to getting these competitions up and running.

All clubs will be required to announce if any players, staff members or close contacts have tested positive to ensure that matches can be played under medical recommendations.

Social distancing will be maintained wherever possible, as game day procedures have been outlined. Displaying club flags, handshakes and pennant exchanges are not allowed, while players and coaches need to be two metres apart for group photos.

During the match it is advised that handshakes, hugs and uniform exchanges cannot take place, while appropriate distancing must be kept in goal celebrations. Players are encouraged not to share water bottles and cool off their bodies by using sponges dipped in ice water.

In a cautious approach, fan-made banners and flags won’t be seen in the stands even behind closed doors. It aims to reduce the number of interactions between fans and club staff.These interactions also include the media, with Zoom utilised for post-match press conferences.

The J1 League won’t begin their restart until July 4, as their first batch of matches comes a week later than the other leagues. Depending on the ever-changing coronavirus situation, it is hoped that spectators can slowly return to games in the near future, by building up the crowd numbers.

© 2019 Soccerscene Industry News. All Rights reserved.

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