Fifa-listed assistant referee Tashun Simons continues upward trajectory
Tashun Simons achieved another career milestone after making his debut officiating at two recent 2022 World Cup qualifying matches.
The former Young Men’s Social Club striker served as a referee’s assistant in the World Cup qualifying fixtures featuring Curacao against St Vincent and El Salvador against Montserrat and did himself and his fellow peers back home immensely proud.
“I watched both of his matches and, for us, the committee, it was actually rewarding watching,” Crenstant Williams, who heads up the Bermuda Football Association’s referees committee, said.
“The first game he did, which was Curacao versus St Vincent, it was evident that he was a little bit rusty due to of course no active football.
“But we have been training and he did commit to train so for us, the committee, it was definitely rewarding because now at least you’re able to say we have somebody that’s actually on the list (Fifa International Referee List) and actually got appointed to the matches. And with the youngsters that are coming through they can actually see that this I something that is real and not just something that the committee keep saying can possibly happen.”
Williams added: “Yesterday (Sunday) he was on Flow (Flow Sports), which was the El Salvador v Montserrat game, and enough people were calling and saying ‘oh’, that’s Tashun on TV’, and even the entire referee fraternity were congratulating him on our group chat.
“It was evident in the second game that he was more into his groove and he done what we know he can do and the hope for the committee based on this we will now be able to go from strength to strength.
“For us all in all it was rewarding to see Tashun being highlighted. The national team is doing their thing and the referees are doing their part as well.”
Simons became the first Bermudian football official in more than a decade to be named on the Fifa International Referees List in 2017 and has made steady progress overseas since having also served as a referee's assistant at the Concacaf Nations League as well as an international friendly between the United States and Venezuela and a host of Olympic Games qualifiers.
Williams hopes that the steady strides that Simons has made on the international stage will inspire others to also pursue a career officiating at that level.
“With Tashun being appointed to international games they can see and say ‘this is something I want to do and is something positive’ and take them out of their comfort zone with the hope that they will stay there,” he said.
The BFA launched the Referees Academy for young officials aspiring to rise to the next level both local and overseas last September.
Williams added: “Of course there’s no football. But we are still training with our numbers on Sunday from 10:30am to 12 noon at the BFA to keep them fit and just try to motivate people when there’s no football.”
Williams hopes to see some of the island’s other officials involved at the international level later this year.
He said: “We have hopefully the Concacaf Under-15 Championship coming up in August and, if they go through, we have some people in the academy that are training and we’re looking forward to sending them there.”