Tashun Simons retained on Fifa’s assistant referee list for 2021
Tashun Simons got tired of being kicked around on the football pitch as a striker for Young Men’s Social Club.
So when his coach Troy “Pinks” Lewis urged him to enrol in a referees course, he took advantage of the opportunity broaden his football horizons and hasn’t looked back since.
“I was tired of getting kicked and hurt and all of that so I found a way to stay involved with the game, which was referring,” Simons said.
“My coach Pinks asked me to go and do the course and find out what’s it like, and so I tried it.
“That was part of the reason why I decided to become a referee and then obviously getting kicked and all that and it just went from there.”
Lewis is happy the advice he gave to his player didn’t fall on death ears.
“When you want to argue a point you have to know the facts,” the former Dandy Town winger said. “And if you go and take the course then you at least have the foundation to argue based on the Laws of the Game, and not from what you think football should be played by.
“It’s good to know that he took it up and has gone that far.”
Since becoming the first Bermudian football official in more than a decade to be named on the Fifa International Referees List in 2018, Simons, has made steady progress overseas having served as a referees assistant at the Concacaf Nations League and Under-17 Championship, an international friendly between the United States and Venezuela and a host of Olympic Games qualifiers, including Grenada, Cayman Islands and Haiti.
“My short-term goal is to be picked for the Concacaf Gold Cup and then obviously everybody wants to get to the World Cup, which is the ultimate,” he said.
Simons has made a considerable sacrifice and put a lot of hard work in pursuit of his goals.
“It’s one of those things where you have to put the work in to get the reward,” the 26-year-old policeman added.
“Originally, I didn't want to be an assistant referee, but Bermuda needed someone on the Fifa list and so I went with it.”
Simons has been further rewarded for hard work ethic having been officially named yesterday on the Fifa list for international referees for 2021 as an assistant referee.
“It is definitely an honour for me because not many people have a chance to do it,” he said.
“It’s especially good for the country, where we are developing together as a whole, that somebody is on the list - and it doesn’t have to be me.”
It is the fourth consecutive year that Simons has been named on the Fifa international list.
In a written statement, Crenstant Williams, the Bermuda Football Association Referees Committee chairman, said: “The Bermuda Football Association Referees Committee are pleased to announce that Tashun Simons has been accepted to the Fifa list for the year 2021.
“It is the hope of the committee that this accomplishment will galvanise others to follow his lead and become match officials.
“The committee is extremely proud and wishes Mr Simons continued success for 2021.
“We hope that Mr Simons will continue to be the shining light and role model for referees here on the island.”
Williams added: “To be an elite referee requires countless hours of hard work and dedication, often times on your own.
“The BFA Referees Committee has a strategic plan in place that highlights the need for more Fifa-listed officials.
“The committee is optimistic that we will be celebrating more persons from Bermuda getting on the list in the not too distant future.”