EFC closes out 2020 concluding first phase of virtual referee seminars


For immediate release: 15 December 2020

Today, the EFC concluded the first phase of its virtual referee seminar initiative, reaching impressive number of participants. The project was championed by the confederation’s Vice President, Nikolay Mateev and Secretary General, Jacek Slupski, who attended every minute of every seminar. Both are already involved in developing the project further for the New Year.

In total the EFC hosted 18 seminars, covering approximately 40 hours of theoretical and practical training, was attended by 125 referees. A notable achievement given the first seminar was held in late September.

Tonight’s seminar was the third one dedicated to the development of female officials. Over the past week the EFC has seen 44 women go through the training. The focus of every seminar was straightforward – improve quality and consistency whilst preparing the trainee referees for their FIE exams.

The President of the FIE’s Refereeing Commission, Mohamed El Motawakel of Egypt, attended the final seminar of 2020. Kicking off the event, he stated, “Thank you very much to the EFC for the invitation to attend this seminar, especially to my colleagues, Nikolay and Jacek. The EFC has always supported the development of referees. Thank you also to all the delegates. I wish you good luck, and importantly I hope to see you all on the piste soon.”

El Motawakel was amongst a number of high-profile guests over the series, including the FIE’s Secretary General, Emmanuel Katsiadakis, and the.Sport and Technical Director, Evgeny Tsukhlo

Speaking about the programme, Slupski said, “The pandemic has made 2020 a very difficult year for sports including fencing. Everyone has had to find new ways to make the most of the situation. By embracing technology, we were willing to support our - referees at a time when competitive fencing has not been possible. The number of delegates attending each and every seminar is evidence of its success. The feedback has been tremendous. We could not have done this without the support of the World class referees in Europe. Many thanks to them, to the delegates and to our special guests. We look forward to continuing this project in 2021.”


The EFC continues to provide full support to the FIE in these challenging times.

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