HISTORY-MAKER!

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HISTORY-MAKER!

Nicholas Anderson is Jamaica's first referee to officiate in Fifa World Club Competition

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 07, 2021

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny -Assistant Referee Nicholas Anderson is poised to make history after he became the first Jamaican match official to be appointed to officiate in the Fifa World Club Competition, which will be held this year in Doha, Qatar, from February 1-11.

The Fifa World Club Competition is held biennially and this year will be the 17th instalment of the Fifa-organised international club football tournament between the winners of the six continental confederations, as well as the host nation's league champions.

“To have Nicholas Anderson appointed to the Fifa World Club Championship in Qatar in February is a significant achievement for us,” Victor Stewart, the head of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) referees department, told the Jamaica Observer West earlier this week.

“This is the first time we are having a referee going to that competition, we have had referees in Continental Cups and World Cups, and Nicholas also officiated in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Brazil in 2019, so this is another big, big achievement for him.”

The former William Knibb Memorial High student who “did a little bit of track and field” while in high school, told the Observer West that being chosen was a “really great feeling, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.”

Anderson, who last month officiated in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League in Orlando, Florida, has been a Fifa assistant referee since 2017.

He argued that his appointment shows that “Jamaican referees have the quality to do well on the international stage, we just need excellent training and performance consistently.”

The Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League event was his first since the playing of football was suspended in March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

He told the Observer West, however, that he has been training consistently and will be ready when he gets to Doha.

“Fifa match officials have to maintain an elite fitness level at all times, I am a part of the Concacaf Sports Science programme, so I have been training consistently. My last games were in December at the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League in Orlando,” Anderson said, adding that “I would love to see the return of football locally in a safe atmosphere.”

Between now and when he departs a week before the start of the tournament, Anderson will be getting ready by “continuing training with the Concacaf Sports Science Programme and sessions with Fifa regional Fitness Instructor Rohan Thoubourne.”

Anderson has been a fixture in western football since he got his start in the Trelawny Football Association competitions in 2003, before extending to the western region and nationally.

His long and impressive curriculum vitae (CV) include officiating in Fifa World Cup qualifiers, Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, Concacaf Under-17 and Under-20 championships.

Locally, he has featured in national finals at both schoolboy and club levels, including the daCosta Cup final, Ben Francis Cup final, Manning Cup final, Walker Cup final, Oliver Shield final, as well as Western Confederation final and the top club competition, the Premier League final.


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