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Football for peace: Building the capacity of female referees

 

Forty-one members from the local football association of Maridi County in the Western Equatoria State, South Sudan, received training as part of peace promotion initiatives the state. The trainees comprised of coaches and club administrators (17 males and 2 females) and referees (18 males and 4 females). training in September 2017.

 

The objective of the one-week training was to build the capacity of the local football association management to promote peace through sport among the youth in the state and beyond. The skills will be transferred to other counties, payams and Bomas.

 

National Football Coach of South Sudan, Bilal Felix, and International Referee from the Federation of International Football Association, Malong Riing, facilitated the training. It was supported by Capacity Building for post-Conflict Reintegration (CAPOR), a project implemented by Action Africa Help International (AAH-I), in collaboration with Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sport Maridi State. CAPOR project is funded by Bread for the World.

 

AAH South Sudan CAPOR

A section of the referees during the training

   

Cici Atundo is one of the female referees from Maridi who benefited from the training. “I have never received such training since she joined the football 22 years ago. This training has given me full confidence and courage to build my refereeing career to the national and international level,” she said. “Refereeing is not meant only for men”.

 

In 1995, Cici joined the ladies’ football team in Maridi, playing jersey number five. 11 years later, in 2006, she changed her career to refereeing and received foundational coaching on refereeing. But this was not enough. Though she has been officiating football matches for years, still she lacked up-to-date knowledge of the latest international sports laws, refereeing and football club management. The training was a great boost to help fill this knowledge gap. 

 

AAH South Sudan CAPOR

Cici Tundo during the training

 

As a single mother to one child, Cici is not only a sport lover, but also a professional builder. She has a certificate in Building and Construction but enjoys sports more. Her involvement in refereeing training has motivated her two female colleagues to join her sports profession.

 

In 2015, CAPOR held the One Unity Cup Tournament. All 19 football clubs established by the project participated, with the final played in Yei River County between Wonduruba and Mundri West. The Mundri team emerged the champion.

 

The project, with a total of 475 football players, has been using sporting activities as one of the intervention mechanism to promote peaceful co-existence among the youth.

 

 

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