How did an engineer by profession start started refereeing for FIFA? Trustin Farrugia Cann is only 32, but, having been in the profession since 2001, he has already toured Spain, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and other European countries as a FIFA referee. Lately he has controlled his 100th Premier game. He talks to Eve about the importance of exercise, and courage.

Eve: You’re a football referee, and lately you’ve controlled your 100th Premier game. How did you get there?

Trustin Farrugia Cann: The first match was back in 2010 between Vittoriosa and Hibernians. The 100th match was on 24th February 2018 between Gzira and Floriana at the Hibernians Stadium. It is not an easy milestone since it took eight years to reach this target, so overall I’m quite happy with such achievement to be reached at the age of 32. I would like to thank all my colleagues, my mentors, all the teachers who were present with their vital education and not least my family for their continuous support.

Eve: What was your most memorable game?

TFC: The first one is Spain Under 21 vs San Marino, played in Valencia. Attendance was more than 10,000 people and the atmosphere was superb. The second match was Monaco vs Leipzig Youth League Match. The result was 2-2 and a penalty was given in the last seconds of the match. I also had the opportunity to join Clayton Pisani as Additional Assistant Referee in the UEFA Group stage matches at AZ Alkmaar (NED) vs Dundalk (IRE) and Young Boys (SUI) vs Astana (KAZ). Meanwhile in Malta, I had the opportunity to be in charge of several top of the table clashes which are always challenging matches, such as Valletta and Birkirkara.

Eve: How do you keep your focus during the game?

TFC: One must be aware of what is going to happen next and where is going to be my next problem, in order to anticipate and read the game to avoid problems and have the correct decisions taken. The positioning of the referee has to be close in order to provide credible decisions. Therefore, it is important to be in a perfect physical condition and able to change speed when necessary. Courage is also another key aspect of refereeing. This will allow the referee to take the necessary actions when required.

Eve: What do you do to keep the balance between your personal and professional life?

TFC: Training sessions are usually done in the evening after six o’clock with our fitness coaches, Ronald Zammit and Clayton Pisani, which are provided by the Malta Football Association. As an elite referee we have the technical meetings, which are held ones a month where we analyse the clips from the local matches in order to have uniformity.

The balance is very important. It is imperative to find the time which is dedicated to my professional life as an engineer while also adapt to the requirements of an International Referee.