Mohammed Ghafoor Appointed NRCFA BAME Refereeing Ambassador


North Riding County Football Association is delighted to announce the appointment of local referee Mohammed Ghafoor as our new BAME Refereeing Ambassador.

MohammedNorth Riding County FA is very much committed to ensuring football is fully diverse within the county and is pledging a support network for ethnic minority referees as well as helping encourage more BAME officials to join the refereeing family at North Riding FA.   

It is hoped that the appointment of Mohammed as NRCFA BAME Referee Ambassador will not only help provide additional support,  but also help us work with our local communities to recruit and develop the next generation of North Riding’s refereeing workforce and understand how we as a County FA can further progress. 

Mohammed, 58, is currently a Level 7 Referee, who has refereed for over 10 years in local grassroots football as well as operating on the world stage at the USA Cup, Minnesota. He brings with him a wealth of football and sporting experience, and is also a Level 2 Football Coach as well as working at both Middlesbrough College & Middlesbrough Football Club. 

Mohammed is very keen to get started in supporting, developing and promoting the opportunities for BAME referees in North Riding.

He said: “It’s a real privilege to be asked to become the first-ever BAME Refereeing Ambassador here at North Riding FA and help support the growth of Refereeing within the local area. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to promote and reach out to the local BAME communities and hopefully provide guidance and information on how people can become a football referee. I’m really looking forward to working closely with [Referee Development Manager] Ross and the rest of the Referee Development Team and making a real difference.  

“I want to help break down any perceived barriers and help people from the BAME communities take up the whistle and enjoy all the benefits that I have had the pleasure of doing over the past 10 years. Becoming a football referee is one of the best things I have done, it has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities, including travelling overseas to the USA as well as refereeing so many local games and having a real positive effect on people’s lives. I have also met and made so many friends from such a great sport. I would really encourage anybody who has a love of football to consider becoming a referee with the fantastic support and massive opportunities that are available at North Riding FA.”

Referee Development Manager, Ross Joyce, had this to say about Mohammed agreeing to the role of NRCFA BAME Referees Ambassador: “Firstly, I  am delighted that Mohammed has agreed to the role and is helping us further develop this important area of our refereeing strategy.  Mohammed is a really inspirational guy, who I have known for the past 15 years both professionally and personally. Every time I see him he has a smile on his face and a real positive outlook on life. 

“I think it’s really important that we utilise Mohammed’s experiences and contacts within the local communities to fully understand how as a County FA we can better support and ensure refereeing is accessible and available to everybody.          

“As a Referee Development Team, we fully recognise the value of a diverse group of referees and we continue to offer support and development opportunities for referees from all backgrounds and across all levels of the game here in North Riding FA. I believe the appearance of refereeing is continually changing and becoming a better representation of the local football community. I want to see us continue to see a rise in the number of female and BAME referees within the county and we encourage people of all backgrounds to join our refereeing family. 

“As we move into next year I will be working closely with Mohammed and other local partners to ensure that refereeing is readily accessible to our BAME communities and working hard to consult and recruit new referees whilst further supporting our current workforce.”

For further information on refereeing, please contact the County FA on 01642 717770 / or you can speak direct to Mohammed on 07971 514329.