I made my impact as referee – David

By John Tuerijama

AFTER an illustrious refereeing career at both regional and continental level, Shaanika David officially hung up his black sporting attire to concentrate attention to his teaching career.

David, who teaches at Ekongo Primary School in Omusati region, had his officiating break in 2006, when he was the man in the middle of the park in the Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Cup game between Angola and Malawi in Windhoek.

He remembered the late Kafu Katjimune, whom he described as a person who always maintained professionalism and whom he officiated with at some of Confederation of African Football (CAF) champions league games, which exposed them to various cultures on the continent.

“My passion for refereeing was immense and I loved doing it as it created opportunities for myself and others to make friends, especially in Africa. I remember officiating the CAF under-20 qualifiers in Angola, while I also officiated the same competition in Zimbabwe, which was an extremely tough match.”

David added that challenges were unavoidable but he had to remain strong personally, while remembering that some supporters were hostile towards referees, but getting to know the culture of people and information on the host nation helped a lot. David also officiated at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique and went on to officiate at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea in 2012. “A lot of the courses that we attended, accredited by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and CAF, helped us in getting updated with the new rules in football and that helped shaping us as referees.

“Yes, they were elite courses and time has come for me to plough back to the young and upcoming referee. For one to seriously make it a success you need to be committed, dedicated and always have the personal motivation to get you through some of the challenges.”

On the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which saw CAF introducing the technology during the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt in the quarter-final stages, David said the introduction was a positive development in the competition.

He further said that decisions taken by some referees had to be reviewed by the VAR referees, whose decision at times overturned those made by the referee on the field of play. He said it would be a mistake for CAF to disregard the introduction of the VAR, adding that he hoped the continental football body would have the VAR usage fully functional at future competitions.

Asked about other future plans, the former referee added that he hopes to establish a ‘referee academy’ to help shape upcoming referees with the assistance of the Namibia Referee Association.