Lawyer Nicolas Joubert was appointed as part of the referee crew for the inaugural home opening game of Winnipeg’s own Valour FC in Canada’s new professional soccer league on May 4. The Canadian Premier League (CPL) made its debut earlier this April.
The referees appointed to the CPL are FIFA, National and NextGEN referees — Nicolas is a member of the NextGen group. Canada Soccer provides training and development and appointment opportunities for young referee talents like Nicolas to advance to the national list and eventually the FIFA list. The NextGEN Program brings together the top 18 prospect referees and assistant referees from across Canada for direct training and education by Canada Soccer for progression onto the National List. In late February, Nicolas, along with 56 other referees and assistant referees from across Canada, attended the annual pre-season National Referee Camp hosted by Canada Soccer in Bradenton, Florida. The training camp required referees to participate in in-class and technical on-field training and undergo pre-season fitness tests. In addition to the pre-season camp, referees were required to complete online video tests on the Laws of the Game and review game video and analyze matches.
Winnipeg’s Valour FC made its home debut on May 4 at IG Field. Nicolas was appointed as Fourth Official for the game along with National Referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere, National Assistant Referees Peter Manastyrsky and Graham Forsyth and National Referee Assessor Mario Perrino. The team lost its first home game, ending the match 1-2 against the visitors, FC Edmonton. The return of a professional Winnipeg soccer team was well-overdue and met with spirited spectators and supporters. The inaugural home game saw more than 10,000 passionate fans fill the stadium.
“The arrival of the Canadian Premier League is fantastic as it allows referees to gain invaluable experience in a professional setting from which to grow and develop. I am excited by the opportunity to be involved in the CPL as I continue to progress within the National Referee Program and hopefully one day become a FIFA referee,” said Nicolas.
About the Canadian Premier League
Canadian Premier League is Canada’s domestic men’s professional soccer league which debuted in April 2019. Playing in world-class and unique venues, the CPL brings professional soccer to communities across Canada.