Football reviews its whistle blowers Print
Written by Football Federation Australia   
Tuesday, 17 June 2008 14:31

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced the appointment of Mario Van der Ende to conduct an independent review of Australian match officiating standards, systems and practices.

"This is the review we had to have," said FFA CEO, Ben Buckley.

"Referees are a critical component of any sport and have an important role to play in the game."

Buckley said that Van der Ende will identify the gaps and areas for improvement in the development of match officials at all levels of the sport and recommend strategies to address any shortcomings.

The scope of the review will include elite level officiating, education and development, recruitment and retention and cultural attitudes towards officials at all levels of the game. It will take place in two stages with an early focus on the elite level, followed by the entire game including grassroots football, with final recommendations due in August.

Buckley said that Van der Ende is highly qualified to undertake the review.

"We're delighted that Mario could assist us with this review.

"He was a top level referee for more than 25 years, including 12 years and 135 matches as an international FIFA referee," Buckley said.

Van der Ende has officiated at the FIFA World Cup and 'Euro' on multiple occasions, and was on the prestigious FIFA Referees' Committee for four years until last year.

He has been a referee instructor across the world including throughout continental Europe, England, Northern Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Surinam, Turkey and New Zealand to name just a few.

"Mario's appointment is a fantastic opportunity for FFA and the rest of the football family to enhance the role of referees to the game.

"Ultimately, we want to ensure that referees have the skills and training they need to perform their role with confidence, that we attract more people to refereeing and that referees' contribution to the game is recognised and valued by players, administrators and spectators."

Van der Ende will consult with all Hyundai A-League clubs and will meet with Australia's elite referees at a forum to be held next week.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 14:40