Confederation of African Football (CAF) may have declared operation only the best is good enough at the intensive training for over 56 referees and their assistants in Rabat Morocco ahead of the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt.
Information emanating for the venue in Rabat indicate that the whistle men and their assistants are being exposed new techniques and approaches all aimed at reducing to the barest minimum mistakes associated with officiating.
The Video Assistant Referee is also in use at the training as part of the practical component of the course which started on April 28 and is expected to end on Sunday may 5th. Nigeria’s Baba Adel is among the 56-man squad on whose shoulders a lot will depend when the Nations Cup gets underway in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.
It is however not only about training as the officials are also undergoing medical and physical test besides theoretical and practical sessions under the supervision of experienced CAF Instructors.
Also to be discussed are the amendments to the Laws of the Game, which takes effect Jun 1 2019, and which are expected to the implemented during the championship.
A blend of youth and experience, Egypt and Tunisia have the biggest number of representatives – five (5), consisting of three referees and two assistant referees.
The 2019 Nations Cup will for the first time feature 24 teams with some analysts predicting that it will be full of fireworks as nations hitherto dubbed underdogs in the round leather game in the continent have risen to the occasion and shown signs of readiness to spring a surprise and give regular winners and more experienced countries a run for their skills.
Madagascar, Burundi and Mauritania will be making their first appearances in Egypt with analysts warning that teams underrating them as new comers may be doing so at their own risk as the era of minnows in football has since disappeared.