Referees Cooperate Across Borders
With referees from the entire world Dana Cup has been an international meeting place for football referees for many years. Now the organisation that keeps track of the many football referees has become even more international.
German Thorsten Vekens and Danish Kasper Poulsen are in charge of the referee organisation at Dana Cup. And, consequently, it is an experienced duo, who has taken over management from Søren Bach, who has instead joined the tournament jury.
Thorsten Vekens participated as a referee at Dana Cup 1998 for the first time and has subsequently served as leader of a group of German referee talents.
Kasper Poulsen has for years been in charge of accommodation at Dana Cup and, accordingly, he knows the tournament in detail.
'Thorsten is responsible for placing referees at the different games and the quality of the referees, while I'm responsible for the administration,' Kasper Poulsen explains.
'At the moment we have 275 referees available, but the number changes continuously because, unfortunately, we experience that some referees have to cancel for various reasons,' says Thorsten Vekens, who adds that last year 260 referees had to be positioned. Fortunately, there is a long waiting list of qualified referees, who help out.
The third leg of the referee organisation is Thomas Jensen, who is a board member of the Danish Football Association (DBU) and helps to ensure that the referees are paid according to the rules DBU has defined.
'Dana Cup is very much a social football tournament and it rubs off on the referees as well. We enjoy ourselves when the last whistle of the day has blown. We have a closed Facebook page where we stay in contact throughout the year. Therefore, we would prefer that the referees stay here and are present the entire week. In this way we maintain the relationship with each other and we can quickly find a referee if the need arises,' Thorsten Vekens, Kasper Poulsen and Thomas Jensen stress.