The Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF), together with its referees department, has been running courses for local futsal match officials. It is the first time such courses – combining theory and practice – have been organised in the Baltic state.
Lectures and practical exercises were conducted by FIFA lecturer Massimo Cumbo, who has 22 years' futsal refereeing experience. He retired as a futsal referee two years ago, having had the honour of being in the middle at two FIFA Futsal World Cups and four UEFA European Futsal Championships. He also officiated at eight UEFA Futsal Cup final rounds.
The local referees took part in various practical and theory sessions. They were put through physical exercises, and simulated and solved match situations from a refereeing perspective, overseen by an instructor who evaluated the work of each delegate.
During the course, participants received invaluable advice and an understanding of how to behave in a given situation. Now the referees will be able to share this information with futsal teams, hopefully facilitating the work of futsal referees.
"The course was very successful and productive," said Cumbo. "I am delighted the Lithuanian FA wanted to run these courses, they will be of huge benefit not only to the referees but to futsal as a whole in Lithuania.
"The local referees were really keen to learn and it was great to work with them. They had a lot of questions and I hope that after this week they will be much more confident on the pitch and able to display even better refereeing."
According to the referees department, courses for futsal referees need to be organised each year as an ongoing process. The new futsal season is about to start, giving match officials an immediate chance to put their new know-how into practice.
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