Regionally acclaimed FIFA’s Referee Assessor, Malcolm George Ramsey, spoke to the media on Monday, in regards to the accomplishments of FIFA referee, Kimbel Ward.
He broke the great news that Kimbel has been selected to be one of the referees in the CONCACAF Gold cup, a prestigious tournament, which Ramsey describes as not only commendable but truly phenomenal.
The tournament which involves 12 teams, will be held in the USA during the month of July. July 7th to 26th to be precise.
The twelve participating teams in what is dubbed a precursor to the world cup, are: USA; Canada; Mexico; Honduras; Panama; El Salvador; Costa Rica; Curacao; Martinique; French Guiana; Jamaica and Nicaragua.
He noted that Ward started under his tutelage, five years ago, in his locally held Referees’ instructor’s course and within this short space of time, he has excelled to become one of the top referees in the entire Caribbean.
According to Ramsey, Ward is the only Caribbean referee who was previously chosen to officiate in the Central American tournament.
“I expected it but not so soon,” said Ramsey.
To put matters into perspective, Ramsey indicated that of the ten officials chosen from the Caribbean, to officiate at the FIFA Gold cup, two are from St.Kitts and Nevis, as Ward will be accompanied by experienced Referee’s Assistant out of St.Kitts, Gramie Browne.
Based on his age, as he is only now in his early thirties, he still has a number of years left to officiate at the top level, as FIFA allows persons to officiate, depending on their fitness level and capabilities, up to the age of 45. He is currently in the top 15 CONCACAF referees at the moment.
Additionally, he has been included in the long list of referees for world cup 2022, slated for Qatar. He pointed out that the referees for the 2018 world cup slated for Russia, would have been long listed since 2015.
Hopefully, Ward will endure the rigours of the elimination process and maintain his A game and the required fitness levels, to eventually selected in the top ten referees for the world cup in 2022.
He also praised the efforts of Masefield Nisbett, ace physical trainer who has done quite a lot to keep Kimbel Ward to the recommended fitness levels.