“I am extremely grateful and humbled to be given another opportunity to be nominated and accepted to the FIFA Referees' List for 2021. The fact that I get to represent FIFA, Concacaf, Barbados, and by extension the BFA, means more than words can express.
One of the sweetest things about being accepted means that my hard work keeps paying off.
The pandemic caused football to come to a screeching halt, but despite that, the training must continue. At any moment, as football is still playing outside of Barbados, and a call up can happen, so officials would still need to be ready”.
“I was injured all of last year; both of my hamstrings were torn. I was running a test and I pulled up. I ended up going to the physio and found out I needed an ultrasound, which showed both hamstrings were torn.
When you love a sport and you work hard, it was difficult to accept that I was injured and couldn’t do football. I was out for all of 2020 and it was one of the hardest things I had to cope with mentally and physically.
To be back on the list for 2021 I feel great. Many days I thought of giving up. I used to think I am injured; will I ever recover to get back on the field? Recovery was hard, but I wanted to get back to where I was and I had to fight it.
Some of the tournaments have been cancelled, so I think any tournaments would not be until later down in the year. I am not sure though if I get an appointment I would travel because of the pandemic. Maybe if things slow down and all the right protocols are met, maybe then. I am still undecided.
I am just happy I’ve made it back. The most important thing right now is to stay fit and healthy. If I’m not fit, I can’t do any football. Once I maintain a certain level, I know I would be able to fulfill any assignment when the time comes”.
KEVON "INCHES" CLARKE
“Making the list for another year is a joy to have been selected again, but also humbling. There are so many referees both across the region of Concacaf, and across the globe, who would cherish the opportunity to be a FIFA match official, and I am mindful of that. I am just glad that the work that I put in behind the scenes pays off.
COVID-19 has shaken the world over and football hasn't been left out. The cancellation of the FIFA Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups are a perfect example of that, and it's sad to see a sport I love suffer in such a way. In a time like this, it is just for all of us to be responsible and follow the protocols so that football, and by extension, our lives can return to some level of normalcy. There are still some tournaments being played in terms of club competition in Concacaf as well as several other competitions, so for me, it is just to remain ready and maintain my training and fitness so that when I am called upon I can perform at a high standard.
In November I would have travelled to Jamaica to participate in the Round of 16 for the Concacaf League Competition, and it definitely was a different experience. I became kind of a COVID test expert because I was tested five times during the trip, and even then before the game, I was pretty isolated for the first couple of days until my test results came back.
Concacaf has done a really good job in terms of ensuring everyone's safety for the game with regards to testing, supplying of masks and sanitizer, as well as the protocols, team management and match officials have to follow to ensure the security of everyone involved. It was a different experience, but still very much enjoyable”.