With assistance from the Goal Programme, the Argentinian football association (AFA) is planning to build an enclosed futsal mini-stadium on its magnificent premises at Ezeiza, where all Argentinian national teams are based. At the end of December, the AFA unveiled Horacio Elizondo, who refereed the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ final in Germany, as its new head of referee training. Elizondo set out an ambitious plan designed to introduce a new model for training referees to give a hierarchical structure to the profession through teaching, ranging from technical instruction to interpersonal skills and technology. In particular, Elizondo highlighted the following five main points: 1. refereeing teams must meet before matches, just as footballers do; 2. they must learn English, particularly those who have ambitions to referee internationally; 3. more rigorous fifness training, which from now on will be daily; 4. technical analysis of performances with videos of matches from the previous weekend; 5. the formation of established trios, as was done at the last World Cup. The ex-international referee will have nine staff working under him in the new department, which is entirely based at the training complex at Ezeiza.
The Ecuadorian football association has ruled that first-division teams must field at least one U-19 player in each match, who may not be substituted before the end of the first half unless he is injured. The association has also decided that technical directors may not move from one club to another in the same division once a season is underway.
For the first time ever, ihe Paraguayan
first division has a sponsor, a mobile telephone company which is offering a cash prize of USD 40,000 to the winners of the 2008 Apertura and Ciausura tournaments.