Much of FIFA’s competition calendar for 2020 has been impacted by COVID-19, and three tournaments have so far been re-scheduled for 2021. Consequently, all FIFA referees' preparatory seminars for those competitions have been temporary suspended and will be rescheduled appropriately.
In 2019, FIFA, together with its Member Associations and six Confederations, organized a total of 288 courses worldwide, to support refereeing development.
Due to ongoing social distancing restrictions around the world, and to overcome the restriction to run these activities in-person, FIFA are offering online courses, with FIFA Referees Committee Chairman Pierluigi Collina and FIFA Director of Refereeing Massimo Busacca having written to all 211 Member Associations including Bermuda, to inform them.
The circular letter explained: “Due to the major impact of the virus, FIFA has been searching for alternative ways to continue our mission of supporting and improving refereeing globally. We understand how important it is to provide solutions that allow referees to develop and train as safely and effectively as possible.
"Therefore, we are pleased to inform you that FIFA Refereeing will now offer courses via an online classroom tool. This solution is designed to provide ongoing support to your referees, assistant referees, video assistant referees, instructors and assessors.
“In cooperation with your refereeing department, online courses will be organized to best meet your needs. We hope that this new training format will be of value to you.”
Each session will involve between ten and 30 participants. The courses are designed to develop and train referees remotely in order to be as safe as possible. They will involve video presentations, online polls and questions-and-answer sessions. Furthermore, officials from football, futsal and beach soccer can choose how often they wish to participate.
Topics will include changes to the Laws of the Game, Video Assistant Referee (VAR), challenges, handballs, penalty-area incidents, tactical fouls and offsides.
Additionally, football referees will cover positional subjects such as anticipation, playing the advantage, set-pieces, fast pressing and assistant referees.