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Sogo leads first overseas assignment for year

Included in the team are assistant referees Bernard Mutukera and Jeffery Solodia, both FIFA badge holders, are the youngest top referees in country and have been on international duty before. However, the mentorship of Sogo, who has been to numerous regional competitions including FIFA qualifying competitions is vital for them.
The triad departed on Saturday heading for the Cook Islands where the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Women’s U-17 Championship is being held. While Solomon Islands is not sending a team to this competition, refereeing is benefiting from the opportunity for international exposure especially for Mutukera and Solodia.
After the competition of the OFC Women’s U17 Championship the trio will remain in the Cook Islands for the OFC Champions League pre-liminary rounds featuring clubs from Samoa, Tonga, and Cook Islands. The winner of this competition will travel to Fiji to join the rest of the region’s elite clubs including Solomon Warriors of Solomon Islands for the second stage.
Solomon Islands referees are among the best in the region with a good number receiving international call ups in 2015. The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) refereeing department is expecting 2016 to be a similarly busy one for local referees and this is positive for the development of referees.
Referee development officer, Justin Mutukera, says that international exposure helps referees build confidence and also learn from other colleagues and this is vital for their growth.
“We support the appointment of our elite referees for international duty because it helps them become better referees. The more they go out the more confident they become and more knowledgeable about the Laws of the Game and its applications,” Mutukera says.

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