Fitness is no longer an issue for referees in Kenya who can now comfortably cope with the intensity of top-flight soccer.
This development can be attributed to a number of Physical Endurance Tests (PET) training facilitated by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
FKF has in the last four years held quarterly referees training and PET’s, in a bid to not only ascertain their physical preparedness to handle matches but also ensure that they are kept up to speed with the laws of the game.
Physical Endurance Tests Now A Norm
FIFA accredited referee Davis Omweno who is famous for handling high profile KPL matches says that the tests are now becoming a norm.
“It’s evident that fitness tests are no longer an issue. Referees are performing well in this exercise and it is gradually becoming a routine. We thank the federation because it is being done regularly and referees have gotten used to it,” says Omweno.
“My advice to the upcoming referees is that refereeing is not easy, but with focus and determination one can easily make it, he concluded.
Kenya Has Risen To FIFA Standards
FKF Referees Manager Sylvester Kirwa says that through adequate support they get from the federation, referees have risen to FIFA standards.
Mary Njoroge, a FIFA assistant referee is also confident that local referees are getting well equipped with the right kind of knowledge which will enable them to deliver well on the pitch.
“We thank the Football Association for organizing PET. This kind of training will really help us during the league,” said Njoroge.
“We are steps ahead. The federation has kept referees to the level that is required by FIFA… through training, development, and promotions…we also get a lot of support from the federation,” says Kirwa.