There is an urgent need to find new and efficient ways to attract young referees to football, as well as supporting the existing ones, especially in lower categories of the sport, according to the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) and the Cyprus Referees’ Association.
The topic was discussed during a meeting between the two association on Friday, with CFA president George Koumas and general director Anthoulis Mylonas also taking part.
Koumas acknowledged the fair demands raised by referees, saying he understand the association’s concerns linked to the dwindling number of young referees in recent years.
He also added that the CFA, in an attempt to incentivise and attract young people to the profession, is considering covering the referees’ travel expenses, having in mind the increase in the price of fuel in recent months.
Bonuses for existing referees based on merit were also discussed during the meeting, except for those officiating football matches in the first, second and third categories, as their existing compensation was deemed “satisfactory.”
The proposals will be referred to the CFA board of directors for further discussion and eventual approval, a statement released following the meeting said.
“I want to make my support for referees very clear,” Koumas said. “Our desire is to restore the public’s faith in the category and avoid any future controversies surrounding them.”
On their part, the referees’ association thanked Koumas for his intervention and for the desire to restore calm “around a category that is often the target of unfair criticism.
“We are ready to do everything necessary to strengthen the position of referees in cooperation with the CFA,” the statement concluded.