The small nation of Gibraltar (population 30 000) – who gained full membership of FIFA in May 2016 (allowing them to play Qualification Matches for the next World Cup) may have made football headlines recently when their League Champions, the amateur club Lincoln Red Imps sensationally beat the giants of Glasgow Celtic in the Champions League.
As with any footballing nation, you must have referees to control those matches. And Norway Cup is hosting one such referee from the Gibraltar Football Association, Andrew Parody.
Mr Parody was lucky enough to be appointed to one of the live matches broadcast by TV2 on Monday morning. Torridal beating Hovding 1-0 in the A 17 competition thanks to a penalty kick early in the second half.
After the match, NorwayCup.no spoke to Andrew:
NC: “So Andy, you’ve just come off the Televised game on Pitch 3, how do you think it went?”
AP: “I think it went very well. I’ve had good feedback from my Refereeing Observer – the penalty was a clear penalty – and to be honest it was one of my most easiest games. So I think it was OK.”
NC: “This is your third time to Norway Cup. You seem to enjoy it so much you keep coming back.”
AP: “Yes – this is like my second home! This place, the atmosphere, the players respect one another and the referees. This place has also improved me as a referee a lot due to the feedback of the Observers and the number of games I am given. It is amazing, Norway Cup – I would recommend it to any referee I meet.”
NC: “You nearly didn’t make it here this year – you had a bit of a journey!”
AP: “Yes – my flight got cancelled in Malaga Airport due to one of the crew being ill! They had given me a hotel and transport to stay overnight until the next flight for free – gave me this fake looking Comic Sans font letter which had no information on it at all! So I paid €450 for a new direct flight to Oslo. The lesson here is to NEVER get bridge flights – ALWAYS get a direct flight and you’ll be fine!”
NC: “Do you hope to bring a few more of the Gibraltar Football Association Referees with you next year?”
AP: “Yes, that is if they want to travel with me! My friends Glen Gilbert and Seth Galia have been thinking of coming but have not arranged yet – but hopefully next year they will come here when I decide to come myself as I am moving to Spain. So I think they will also come to hang out with me as they will miss me!”
NC: “Finally, what would you like to get out of this week ultimately?”
AP: “I would like to get more experience. I do not think I will have a final this year as I did one last year. So this year is all about doing what I already know and improving further to prepare for the next season.”
The letter given to Andrew at Malaga Airport:
Story and Photos: Krister Halvorsen