Talented young referees and international women referees are in Nyon this week for the latest courses in UEFA's referee development programme.
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UEFA's referee development programme continues this week with two courses in Nyon: the innovative talents and mentors course, and the latest seminar for international women referees.
The long-standing talents and mentors course has consistently proved its worth. Under the programme, up-and-coming officials – referees and assistant referees – are given expert help in their development by experienced former international match officials. Twenty referees and assistants will be in Nyon this week for the latest step along their career paths.
A number of referees who were part of the talents and mentors scheme have gone on to take charge of matches at the highest international club and national team levels, including FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League finals. More than 170 referees have been part of the scheme over the past 12 years.
The young referees and assistants – the talents – are fostered by their experienced mentors. The mentors remain in constant contact with their referees by email or phone, and by either visiting them or inviting them to the mentors' respective countries. Their discussions centre on matters including match performances, diet, general conduct and communication in English, which is UEFA's refereeing language.
UEFA will explain its talents and mentors philosophy at the course. European football's governing body feels that young referees and assistants should be treated in the same way as young football players. Footballers learn from the guidance and wisdom of experienced coaches, and up-and-coming match officials also benefit from the experience that the former referees gathered throughout their own careers.
In addition, the course will feature a practical training session along with the young referees taking part in training at UEFA’s Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE), and will also feature analysis of Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final. UEFA's refereeing unit will give recommendations to help the young referees and assistants.
Meanwhile, the women referees' course will feature members of the UEFA elite category and elite development category, as well as new international referees. The course will involve practical and fitness sessions, with UEFA Referees Committee members giving expert advice on, among other things, positioning and movement, handball, offside, free-kick management and injury prevention.
The women referees will analyse events at the UEFA Europa League final from a refereeing perspective, while the new international referees will be given an insight into their duties as a European match official by the UEFA administration.