Development Group – Europe

Preparing the next generation of refereeing excellence

Over the past few years, Referee Abroad has organized a number of development initiatives and events for all up-and-coming referees. 

Most notably, the Referee Academy (read more here) has quickly gained reputation as one of Europe’s most innovative refereeing development programs. 

The introduction of the development group responds to a well-established need, the one of offering an increasing number of referees the possibility of attending our tournaments while receiving feedback and training, therefore not limiting these opportunities only to the officials from our Referee Academy or development tournaments. 

Thanks to the support of many professionals and stakeholders within the football and refereeing community, we have therefore decided to start this new program which will offer all referees eager to improve their skills, the perfect week of intensive refereeing training they’re looking for.

After two successful editions at the Donosti Cup in Spain (2018) and at the Gothia Cup (2019) in Sweden, next year’s edition will once again go back to Spain, this time at the Footvia International Tournament near Barcelona. 

And don’t forget – if you do well enough, you may even gain an invitation to next year’s Referee Academy!

Interested? Please find more information below! 


What the RAA offers

Coaching Team

Who is behind the RAA


What the conditions are


How referees can benefit


Apply now!

Features: What the Development Group offers

Refereeing at an International Tournament: Footvia International

Taking part to an international tournament is the “core” of our development group project. 

By attending such an event, you’ll be able to referee a style of football which is most likely different from what you’re used to at home, and this will contribute greatly to your development as a match official. 

The tournament we chose for the 2022 edition is the Footvia International in Spain. 

Feedback by international referee coaches: Post-Match-Analysis and Theory Sessions

You’ll be watched in every match you referee by our team of referee coaches who, right after the game, will provide you with feedback on how to improve your refereeing skills. 

The development will not end on the fields then, with multiple sessions organized during the week at our accommodation, where we will discuss your performances as well as various refereeing subjects. 

Coaching Team

Members of our coaching team will announced on a yearly basis. We can assure however that all coaches you’ll work with are refereeing professionals who have been involved in referee development for a number of years. 

Some of the coaches who have taken care of our development group in the past include: FIFA referee Jamie Robinson (Northern Ireland), FIFA assistant referee Andrew Nethery (Northern Ireland), SPL referee Craig Napier (Scotland), professional referees David Recio Moreno, Borja Munarriz Mateos, Gaizka Legarra and Alejandro Amorilla (all from Spain). 



Accommodation in a villa near the beach is fully included in the price.

The villa features also a pool and many on-site services such as a TV room a meeting room and a big outdoor space.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are provided by the tournament and free for all referees and assistant referees.


The tournament takes place near the airport of Barcelona, from where referees can catch a train to Ocata, which is only a 10 minutes walk from the villa.

Transfer to and from the stadiums is organised for free by the tournament.

Referees and assistant referees cover their flight (or train) costs themselves.


The development group is a non-profit-project organised by a group of committed volunteers.

In order to cover arising costs, a participation fee is charged from all referees and assistant referees.

Benefits for referees

Reasons to apply for the Development Group – your benefits as a participant

  • Refereeing games at an international youth tournament in the beautiful city of El Masnou and surrounding Barcelona region.
  • Advice by international referee coaches after each game
  • Delivery of a written certificate of attendance
  • Chance to qualify for Referee Abroad Academy in 2023
  • Savouring an intercultural environment offering the chance to develop both language competences and soft skills, and to make new friendships across Europe

Your Potential Destination

The beautiful city of El Masnou sits only about 25 minutes from world famous Barcelona, Spain. 

Apply now

If you have any questions or would like to receive more information on the project, please do not hesitate to contact us either by writing an e-mail to