skip navigation

The Learning Corner for Match Officials

By Staff, 05/28/19, 2:30PM EDT


Interview with Amato DeLuca, Former FIFA Match Official, Current FIFA High Intensity Fitness Test Instructor on how to prepare for a match and anything that is thrown at you

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

Ontario Soccer recently caught up with former FIFA Match Official Amato DeLuca for some tips and tricks on how to get Match Officials ready for upcoming matches and prepare properly for their seasons. 

What can a Match Official do to Tactically Prepare for a match?

The Match Official should consider the following circumstances before the match:

Importance of the game, rivalry and previous games, result needed, goal difference and team set up.

What pointers can you give to Match Officials for reading the game during a match?

Match Officials should consider the following circumstances during the match:

  • Time of the match when things happen - look for the early possibility to manage a situation and put an end to possible retaliations.
  • Score of the match -  Late goals in a tight score can create time wasting and frustration. Recognize it and jump on it as soon as it happens.
  • Management of injuries - Are they designed to interrupt flow or to waste time?

(During) all these circumstances, the Match Official should always take preventative measures, and always be alert of the abuse of fair play principles.

What Management Techniques should a Match Official implement, or always keep in mind?

Remain calm. The use of humour is ok provided it is done fair and in good taste

Approachability - A player's strength of character means different players need a different approach methods.

Flexibility is good at times. Some of the rules can be slightly bent (not broken) for the good of the game.

Keep an eye on behaviours of the players. If the referee does not deal with certain situations the players act upon it themselves. If this happens the Match Official must recognize it and act accordingly to adjust player’s behaviour.

Recognize the physical challenges – are they fair or foul? Are they sending a message to the opponent?

The Match Official must know the laws of the game and be credible in their application.

How do you deal with a difficult player, parent or coach? How does this differ for Youth ages?

Players can be managed by having a chat with the guilty players but for the Match Official’s credibility, they must be cautioned if they continue.

As for the youth Match Officials, they should not allow advantage – instead, just make the simple call. This will eliminate the need to manage players.

As for parents’ behaviour, the best way to deal with a difficult parent or spectator is to talk to the coaches and have them be responsible for their own spectators.

Coach management for youth Match Official should always be done in a respectful manner. Adults don’t like to have a young person yelling at them. The approach should be calm, don’t overreact. Simply tell them what is needed to be said (in regards to the match) and move on. Don’t threaten ejection at the first visit to the technical area. Be firm and with a good strong posture and body language. Do not show fear.