Belgian football looking for 700 additional referees through large-scale recruitment campaign

Belgian football looking for 700 additional referees through large-scale recruitment campaign

The RBFA, Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF are challenging Belgian football fans to become referees via

For the first time in 10 years, Belgian football is organising a large-scale campaign to recruit referees. The Royal Belgian Football Association, Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF are joining forces to recruit around 700 new referees through the campaign website Any Belgian who feels they would like to strengthen the team of referees in Belgium is welcome to apply. The aim is to expand the more than 4,000 referees in our country to 5,000, with 2% of the new recruits eventually becoming top referees.

Everyone who watches football regularly has an opinion about the referee's decisions and the sense that they know better. This is the approach of the large-scale recruitment campaign launched by the Royal Belgian Football Association together with the regional federations Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF. Top referees such as Lawrence Visser, Nicolas Laforge and Jana Van Laere are, quite literally, challenging critical Belgian football fans in playful TV clips and via social media with the slogan "If you can do better, do it yourself". In this way, Belgian football is aiming to recruit more referees than are leaving.

"Our refereeing team is in urgent need of new faces. On the one hand, the average age of our referees has risen to 40 and more and more older referees are quitting. On the other, the number of teams in Belgium is increasing so there are more matches every weekend where a referee is needed."
Stephanie Forde, Operations Director of the Professional Refereeing Department of the RBFA

More, younger and more diverse referees needed
Today, Belgian football encompasses more than 4,000 referees. A fifth of them are youngsters between 15 and 22 years of age. However, almost half of the Belgian refs are older than 40 and 3.5% of them are over the age of 70. This is not necessarily an issue but, although inflow has remained almost the same for the past two or three years, more older referees have stopped. Therefore, the number of new referees needs to be increased significantly. The playful campaign is intended to attract the younger audience in particular, but people over 40 are also welcome. The RBFA, Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF will also make particular efforts to ensure that 10% of the new batch of referees are Belgians with a migration background.

"The short films online in which you have to judge phases of games yourself immediately confront Belgian football fans with the types of choice that a referee has to make every match, in a split second. By focussing on this campaign not only nationally, but also in each province through the local representatives of Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF, we can recruit referees from all over the country so they can immediately start one of our many referee training courses.”
Nand De Klerck, spokesman for Voetbal Vlaanderen

A third more female referees with new strategic plan
The RBFA, together with Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF, is not only looking for more female football players, but also more female game managers. Today, women make up barely 2% of the referees in our country. Soon, we should have increased this to a third more. To realise this, the RBFA, Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF have drawn up a new plan.

"We have a new strategic plan for women's refereeing, to recruit more girls and women. We will not only offer additional coaching, but also give them the opportunity to lead women's matches and youth matches through a specifically developed route. We have also mapped out an accelerated roadmap for coaching former players from the Scooore Super League or our national women's teams to eventually referee matches in professional football. This will also generate additional female referees at the top level."
Stephanie Forde of the RBFA



About Royal Belgian Football Association

The Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) was founded in 1895 and is the official representative of Belgian football.  Our mission is the administrative and sporting organisation of Belgian football.  We are set up as a non profit association. 

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