Farai supports The FA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) which identifies referees with the potential and opportunity to progress through the refereeing pyramid, offering them the best opportunity to fulfill their potential as early as possible. Alongside this is responsible for managing the relationship with the leagues and clubs in the National League System, improving their relationship with refereeing and offering feedback on queries the clubs will have throughout the season. Farai is responsible for raising the profile of refereeing.
Meet our Senior Referee Officer, Farai Hallam
I will be in Wembley 3-4 days a week and then out nationwide once or twice. I’m fortunate to have a balance of office time to get the admin and planning done, as well as time around the country meeting with our County FAs, leagues, clubs, referees and other partners.
Working in football is a privilege in itself, but to work for our governing body is something that I am extremely proud of. Getting to constantly meet new people who are passionate about the game and having the ability to make a difference.
I thrive in meeting new people, helping better their football experience and helping where I can. I’m a football fan first and foremost, so to share my passion and enthusiasm throughout the game is brilliant.
I was fortunate enough to spend three years playing professional football both here and in Spain. The hard work and hours that were put into my job then taught me a number of ethics and values that have benefited me ever since.
Communication. People often see The FA and refereeing as being very much on their own, so the ability to communicate what we do and why, where possible, is very important. As with refereeing itself, once you get past the fact that there are people behind the kit, the football community is often understanding of the challenges faced by a referee.
Empathy. Coming from a playing background, I can relate to the club’s point of view whilst getting across the referee’s perspective too. This is important as a lot of our work is in education. It is difficult for people to understand refereeing if they have never had it explained to them.
It sounds cliché but work hard. Not only does it benefit yourself and instill good ethics, but people do recognise hard work and are more likely to reward it. I would also say to throw yourself at whatever comes your way, often people will have a plan but seldom does life pan out as expected. Take each opportunity in your stride and make the most of it.
The stand out attribute throughout the organisation is passion, everyone has a passion for football in some capacity or another. This naturally creates a hard working culture as people enjoy what they do and are more often than not willing to go above and beyond in work.
The FA allows you numerous opportunities to get involved in all areas of the business, broadening your knowledge and increasing your experience. If you want to put yourself out there, the organisation will support you to achieve your personal goals and make the most of any opportunities.
The two SMT members I have worked with the most are Kelly Simmons and Andy Ambler. They have both been supportive when needed, and are both good at keeping you on track and ensuring that whatever work we do as individuals links to the bigger picture.