Noumandiez Doue: "Refereeing in Africa has made great strides"


A Latin proverb says "repetition is the mother of learning" - a quote taken literally by the Confederation of African Football for the development of all aspects in the practice of football, including refereeing.

On the sidelines of the second edition of the CAF Women's Champions League which takes place from 30 October to 13 November in Morocco, the CAF Refereeing Department organized a training session for the referees on Monday in Rabat; a session with a focus on the VAR that is being used for this premium women club tournament.

Speaking to, the CAF Head of Refereeing, Desire Noumandiez Doue presented the aspects of development they have worked on and CAF's vision for the growth of refereeing on the continent.

"This training is similar to the daily session for a competition. We prepare our referees for all the situations that can happen during a match, in terms of tactical approach, reading of the game, anticipation, looking for angles of vision so that once on the ground, they are not surprised by what is happening."

"Then there is a second important aspect which is the psychological preparation for the match. You have to be able to understand what is happening on the pitch, to be able to use the understanding of football to know why such a team is playing in this way, how to control the match, do prevention.

"This is the control aspect of the match. We are therefore working on several aspects; how to build a decision and then how to control the match as well as the relationship with the players on the pitch."

CAF instructors have set up several specific simulations of game events to prepare referees for certain interesting scenarios.

"As you have followed, we have come back to the action of the penalty played with a pass during the competition. This is an interesting action and it was important that we explain it to the referees," added Doue.

About twenty referees (main and assistants) were present at this training, the majority of them ladies.

Satisfaction for the Head of Refereeing at CAF, he said: "Today we have six women who are already VAR approved and they are involved in the various FIFA competitions. That is the reason why they are not present for this CAF Women's Champions League. And all the women who are here today with us in the competition and who are about fifteen are approved to referee on the ground with the VAR."

Moreover, Doue is pleased with the overall level of women's refereeing in Africa, noting that: "It is booming and we have plenty of role models such as Salima [Mukansanga] who officiates at CAF and has been selected for men's World Cup in Qatar.

"For all the men's competitions, we have now women match officials. And it's not a gender matter but rather about skills."

Doue concluded by welcoming the enormous progress made by African refereeing with the considerable support of the management of CAF which does not skimp on the means to offer match officials training, courses and specific development programmes.

“We have made great strides forward, we are now at international standards and our referees can officiate any match and in any competition. But we must continue to work to do even better, to stay the course and above all to always have the next generation and try to always rank among the best. One of the main objectives of the Confederation of African Football."

VAR Training - WCL 2022 Refereeing