International Referee Programme

International Referee Programme

Over many years and many international tournaments, the Homeless World Cup has gathered a dedicated group of international referees. Every year, they volunteer their time and skills to whistle with passion. Some are professional FIFA referees in their own countries, while others officiate as street football referees for various events.

Inspired by the work that Surprise Strassenfussball – Homeless World Cup National Partner in Switzerland – has done to train their players to become referees for local events, the Homeless World Cup Foundation aimed to deliver an international referee programme on a similar level. Paul Nagtegaal, who is based in the Netherlands and part of our core team of international referees, developed a curriculum for international street football referees. The result is a course to train local referees and former players from all of our partner organisations to become official Homeless World Cup Referees.

Aims and Objectives

Our international referee programme is aimed at former players from our worldwide partner organisations as well as local referees in countries hosting the Homeless World Cup tournament.

Many players who take part in one of our national partners’ programmes want to stay involved with street soccer, especially after having played at the Homeless World Cup annual tournament. An opportunity is for them to train as a Homeless World Cup official referee and whistle at one of our events.

Many of our partners on the ground use local referees at their own tournaments. They can come from professional leagues, clubs or neighbour countries. We want to train all referees to the same standard and become international Homeless World Cup referees.

About the Courses

The course is divided into two parts: theory and practice. The theory takes place in a classroom set-up and includes:

  • Learning Homeless World Cup official rules
  • Understanding what a good referee is
  • Getting feedback on their behaviour on the pitch

The practice component takes place on the pitch. Participants get to take part in games and refereeing situations where they can visualise and understand what they have learnt in the classroom.
Finally, participants are given the chance to referee at a real tournament.

At the end of the course, students are handed their official Homeless World Cup International Refereeing Programme Certificates.