May 14, 2012

Sajn and Vassaras reflect the benefit for the U17 EURO referees

As the still ongoing UEFA U17 EURO in Slovenia is hitting the home stretch, UEFA Referee Committee members Vlado Sajn and Kyros Vassaras retrospect the achievements and experiences the active officials were able to savour in an interview with

(c) Could you tell us your role in Slovenia?
Vlado Sajn: Our role is to explain the UEFA guidelines to the young referees. Here we have mostly referees with just one or two years of international experience, so we are here to help them with the guidelines in order to achieve as much consistency and uniformity in these tournaments as possible. We are here also to support them in any other aspect they need. Have you seen a benefit to your presence at these tournaments?
Sajn: Certainly. We have individual feedback and analysis with the refereeing teams after every matchday with hot topics and the whole group discusses the important match situations. Hopefully they will go back home with new perspectives or new information. It is important to say that they are
not inexperienced referees, as they are top in their particular countries, but on the international stage they are inexperienced. It is beneficial for them to learn and do well here. If they do, the doors to their future are open. Do you also educate the players at these tournaments?
Kyros Vassaras: We do. The Referees Committee produce a DVD in order to go over interesting clips and topics and to inform the teams on the instructions that we have provided referees. The type of decisions to expect from referees, for example. We try to educate them on avoiding unsporting
behaviour, simulation, and holding and pushing in the penalty area. It is better for the teams not to have yellow cards and it improves the image of the game. It is also for the protection of the players and to promote respect, both between the players and towards the officials. Have these methods been proven to be effective with players?
Sajn: Very much so. We started this at EURO 2008 and we were very happy with the results. We had very few dissent cases there, as we told them we would be very strict. There were also just two cases of holding in the area. After that we decided we would go forward and introduce this system
into all the age group final tournaments. This is our fifth year doing this now and I feel there are fewer misunderstandings between players and officials and fewer unnecessary bookings. How have the teams responded to the sessions?
Vassaras: The feedback from the teams this year has been very positive. When we finished our presentations, they agreed that we have to keep doing it and told us they would like to have it in their own countries at U15 and U13 level. It is really positive to think that there is a drive to introduce this at grassroots level across Europe.


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