Three Guyanese Match Officials receive FIFA Badges for 2021
Guyana’s top three match officials, Sherwin Johnson, Maurees Skeete and Kleon Lindey, are now ready to officiate in international matches this year, after they received their FIFA badges at a ceremony at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) on Friday.
The three officials received their badges from GFF President Wayne Forde alongside GFF Executive Committee member and Interim Head of Refereeing Dion Inniss.
“I want to commend these three match officials that have been placed on the FIFA list,” Forde said. “They are a credit to Guyana football and to all of Guyana. We know they are going to go out there, do exceptionally well and make all of Guyana proud.”
Referees Johnson and Skeete and assistant referee Lindey were reappointed to FIFA’s list of international referees in December, giving them the right to wear the coveted FIFA badge and to take charge of international matches in 2021.
“Last year, we all know was a very difficult year, but I stayed positive and continued training. The fact that I am in the army – I’m a staff sergeant – that has kept me focused and motivated and strong to continue to push forward,” Skeete said. “I am excited to get back on the field – to get out there and show my talents and to make Guyana, myself and my organisation proud.”
Johnson and Skeete, a double nominee for Concacaf female referee of the year, have been part of the FIFA list since 2012 and 2014 respectively, while Lindey has featured in the selection since 2015.
“I’m looking to reach the highest pinnacle possible,” said Lindey, who last patrolled the touchline in Concacaf U20 Championship qualifiers in February 2020. “It’s currently very challenging, but I am just keeping my body fit because fitness is one of the key elements in refereeing.”
Johnson, who officiated the final of the GFF Bounce Back Classic tournament at the turn of the year, said he couldn’t wait “to get back to the pitch to referee and represent Guyana.”
Last year, the GFF launched a referee recruitment campaign –“Get involved” – to encourage more young people to train to become match officials.
“For the game to progress and to develop as we want to see it, the importance of high-class officiating cannot be overstated,” said Inniss. “We are on a path of upward trajectory. We have a plan in place to put refereeing back where it deserves to be.”
“The systems that have been put in place for training and development have quadrupled. I would invite any young girl and boy from the length and breadth of Guyana to show an interest in officiating. We look forward one day to seeing our match officials at a World Cup or Olympic match.”