14 Welsh Men & Women Earn their Whistles

Street Football Wales (SFW)  – the Homeless World Cup’s National Partner in Wales – recently hosted  the Homeless World Cup Referee Course. Sponsored by the Dutch FA, the course is facilitated by Paul Nagtegaal, senior FIFA and Homeless World Cup referee. The two-day course covers the basic principles of refereeing, including what makes a good referee, body language, and presence on and off the pitch.

The theoretical part of the course allows participants to go over the rules of the game and how to enforce them during a match. “It’s not just about knowing the rules, but about knowing how to communicate them with the players,” said Nagtegaal while demonstrating different signals.

After the theoretical part of the course, participants had a chance to watch a few matches and focus on the performance of the officials and learn from the very best. Day 1 concluded with a series of quizzes about the topics covered during the day.


Learning the rules of the game


Participants discuss what makes a good referee

During the second day of the course, the 14 participants had their highly anticipated go at the whistle and flags while officiating on informal matches. From penalties, free kicks and substitutions, to fair play, fouls and blue cards – participants had a chance to practice all. By the end they were ready for their internship, which would take place the following day during the Jan Collard Social Inclusion Cup, organised by SFW.



The single-day tournament saw 24 teams competing for three trophies. The new officials spread across three pitches to run their matches. At the end of the tournament, two newly minted referees were invited to join the International Referee squad and officiate at the next Homeless World Cup in Oslo.


Craig Denner and Natalie Handley will officiate at the 2017 Homeless World Cup in Oslo