PhD student at the University of Artois and more particularly at the Faculty of Sports and Physical Education of Liévin, I develop sociological works to enlighten the processes at work in the construction of the careers of high-level referees. Based on comparative surveys, my work focuses more specifically on elite referees in football, hockey-on-ice and water polo. I am awarded of the Joao Havelange Research Program by the International Center for Sport Studies and FIFA to conduct a research project entitled “Elements of sociology of elite referees: pretending, entering, exercising and last at the highest international level”. This research project is conducted from January 2018 to January 2019, with funding of $ 28,000.
Contribution to a sociology of the best African referees: from entry to a high-level career to reconversion.
This paper is about a research project proposed under the Joao Havelange Fellowship Program and funded by the International Center for Sport Studies and FIFA. It is interested in high-level football referees, the best of the best, the “men in black” recognized as such and dedicated by the international rankings, officiating at the most prestigious games. It aims to identify the mechanisms, the springs or the invariants in the courses that have dedicated a man or a woman to the highest level of international refereeing. By proposing to study the extraordinary or the exceptional, this research project aims to identify explanatory and descriptive mechanisms able to play a role for high-level referees. How did they become known referees, recognized for their skills? What are the conditions that allowed the consecration to the highest level? How did they enter the closed circle of elite referees, and what did they do to stay at the top of the refereeing hierarchy? From a body of international referees, this work seeks to return to the trajectories and paths that led to international consecration. Based on a plural methodology including life stories, cognitive mapping and sociology of networks, this work tries to shed light on a blind spot in the sociology of high-level sport: refereeing. This paper will build on the case study of high-level African referees