LAST weekend, I learned that there was some sort of a manpower shortage among the referees in Cebu since five of them were sent to PFF Regional Category 2 Course in Bacolod City.
Of the five, only two (and eight of 30) passed the course--Jasper Gerarman and Janry Acaso--who are both from the University of Southern Philippines Foundation. The course is the first of a series of steps that could bode well for the careers of these guys, should they decide to pursue a career as an official.
Rodney Orale, the chairman of the referees committee in the Cebu Football Association, said after the regional course, the two passers, together with Dave Intong and Levie Sabella will be Cebu’s representatives to the MA course, a requisite for a Fifa course.
Being a Fifa referee isn’t easy but if you become one, it’s lucrative. Though it’s hard, I think it’s easier for this generation of refs to become Fifa refs than the generation before them. Randy Estremos, who I think is still the lone Cebu ref who eventually became a Fifa ref, became one due to his own effort. There was no backing from the local FA then and nationally, there weren’t that many referee courses too. (The previous Philippine Football Federation admin was busy with something else.) “Swerte kaayo ni sila ron,” a veteran ref told me over the weekend. “Lam-i kaayo duklon usahay para ingnan na ‘take advantage mo sa opportunities.’” Aside from the opportunities. The CFA was more than generous to the five, paying for all their expenses--registration fee--and providing transportation allowance and honorarium.
“As per Ricky Dakay, as long as it’s for the progress of Cebu football, the CFA will support them,” said Orale.
That reminds me of a problem (sort of) Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. football tournament manager Francis Ramirez shared in the past. Though they have a lot of young refs, some can’t be relied upon regularly because they haven’t made up their mind yet, whether they’d be footballers or referees.
Of course, it goes without saying that they can’t be both.
Perhaps the career path of one referee can help convince them. Of all the members of the football community—players, coach, official—I know of only a couple who are employed abroad in a football-related job.
Both are referees.
Like I said, this bunch is a lucky generation.