FIFA on Friday announced that it will offer online courses due to ongoing social distancing restrictions around the world, and to overcome the restriction to run these activities in-person.
In a statement published on its website, the global football body said FIFA Referees Committee Chairman Pierluigi Collina and FIFA Director of Refereeing Massimo Busacca have written to all 211 Member Associations, 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."
Each online 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 question-and-answer sessions.
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 temporarily suspended and will be rescheduled appropriately.
In 2019, FIFA, together with its Member Associations and six Confederations, organised a total of 288 courses worldwide, to support refereeing development.