Two members of Northern Mariana Islands Football Association referees pool are also in Guam to provide assistance to instructors and participants in the ongoing East Asian Football Federation Referee Development Course.
NMIFA general secretary Ross Zapanta said that Cristy Villaflor and Ruselle Zapanta left Saipan last Monday to get ready for the course where nine young referees from the island are also enrolled.
“We actually have 11 referees in Guam for the referee course. Ruselle and Christy left a day ahead (of the big group), as they have to meet with the two Japanese instructors. Ruselle and Christy and two others from Guam will assist as referee instructors. Thus this course is even better because it will provide-high level training for both our referees and instructors,” the NMIFA official said.
“This course is actually a program under EAFF and I believe that FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has been providing funding for the program through the Asian Football Confederation,” Ross added.
Villaflor and Ruselle were reunited with Don Cabrera, Davy Laxa, Jeralyn Castillo, Mia Carreon, Katherine Magat, Floyd Muna, Merrick Toves, Sebastien Manabat, and Taka Borja last Monday and all participated in the classroom and practical sessions of Day 1 of the development course. The practical part of the course covers game style and situation training, while for the classroom sessions, instructors and participants will discuss tactical foul, penalty incident, offside, challenge, hand ball, teamwork, and game management,
Joining Villaflor and Ruselle in assisting the visiting instructors are Guam’s James Oh and Shawn Spindel, while Guam Football Association also has 22 referees attending the four-day course.
GFA, being the host federation, made two teams, including its men’s national squad, available for the practical sessions. Japanese Sachiko Yamagishi and Tadashi Hase are the course’s instructor and assistant instructor, respectively. Yamagishi was a referee at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada and a five-time AFC Referee of the Year awardee, while Hase officiates games in the J2 League.