Referees and Assistant Referees penciled for the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Morocco 2018 have declared their readiness to meet expectations during next year’s edition of the tournament exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues.

Forty-four (44) referees and assistant referees were in Egyptian capital, Cairo, between 27 November and 1 December, for a five-day training programme to select match officials for the final tournament scheduled for 13 January to 4 February 2018 in the Moroccan in the cities of Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangiers and Agadir.

The course included theoretical sessions which discussed topics such as technical and tactical analysis of the game, reviewing of video clips of matches amongst others, and practical sessions with players which held at the Technical Centre of the Egyptian Football Association.

The participants also extensively went through the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to be experimented for the first time on the continent during the CHAN, and also underwent thorough medical screening to check their general health status and physical condition.

“After the five days of intensive training, I’m certain that you are equipped enough to give a good performance during the Total CHAN Morocco 2018, and other matches and competitions at local, continental and global levels,” said Suleiman Hassan Waberi, president of the CAF Referees’ Committee.

“It was a very intensive course and important one as such with the CHAN competition just weeks away. The players are preparing and the referees must also do same to meet the expectations of all. I’m optimistic that the lessons from the theoretical and practical sessions will be vital towards the delivery of match officials come next year,” Malagasy referee, Hamada Nampiandraza disclosed.

On his part, Maguette Ndiaye from Senegal said: “the course has been very beneficial and helped us to master and improve certain aspects of our game. Everybody was heavily involved and I strongly believe the selected match officials will give a good image of African referees in Morocco”.

“The five days provided a big opportunity for the participants to sharpen our skills for next year’s competition. I’m very convinced we won’t disappoint. Refereeing is an evolving aspect of the game which needs one to be intelligent, deploy a tactical approach and have a good anticipation – which we did rigorously during the intensive course,” added experienced Angolan referee Helder Martins de Carvalho.

CAF Refereeing Manager, Eddy Maillet, expressed satisfaction with the output and performance of the matchofficials during course, adding that the final list of officials will soon be made public after a critical assessment of each participant by members of the CAF Referees Committee who were also present.