February 16, 2022

Alumni Spotlight - Meet Ericsson

Ericsson class of 2016, currently a football referee in London, United Kingdom, Serving the English FA and London Football Association (London FA) as his country FA.  Ericsson is absolutely in love with football but would never have been good enough to play at a top-flight. He used to play football while growing up, and he was always interested in it but then suddenly, he became fascinated with the refereeing.

Ericsson fell into refereeing after missing out on football first team, with that he was forced to give up playing football in favor of a professional refereeing career, which he started his career in 2009 in Arusha after completing a series of Laws of the Game and Refereeing courses offered by then Arusha Regional Football Association in conjunction with the Tanzania Football Federation.

“To be honest, if you'd asked me 10 years ago where I'd be today, I wouldn't have given you an answer that would be more reasonable, all I wanted was to be professional at the top divisions playing, I wouldn't have thought it would be here and me refereeing with passion as this stage, the biggest surprise to me is just how everything has gone so far, it's gone so quickly and passionately driven. Thanks to all who work behind the scenes to make me as professional as it is now, and It's all crazy right now” Ericsson shared

Recently, Ericsson was appointed to take charge of the top flight of the London Football Association, where he will be the man in charge of the season 2021/22 London FA Cup Final scheduled to take place on March 3rd 2022.

Ericsson has set a unique record of being the first Tanzanian descent professional football referee when made his English debut on the 5th December 2021 on a fixture involving Charlton Athletic F.C. VS Queens Park Rangers FC for players under the age of 23, indeed a game that made him familiar and know to the diverse wider football community, with unique featuring in top media houses, sports sites, blogs, newspapers, sports journals and of cause social media platforms.

“It is all about having a purpose, discipline and the right mentality, that was enough to make me where am today. To keep the purpose alive, I needed to be exceptionally willing to practice and develop my crafts. Likewise with refereeing: the more I received and accept constructive feedback, the better I got understanding how to get myself up there in terms of being assertive, consistent and decisive” Ericsson commented,

Ericsson is absolutely thrilled and excited, “I feel as though I've beaten the odds to some extent and it's something that I treasure immensely. But I need to keep my hands dirty by working hard, I have goals and aspirations, I am more motivated than ever before, it’s a dream and desire of any referee to officiate big tournament, such as the FIFA World Cup. Just like many, it is not just about the dream, but my desire, vision and utmost milestone inspiration that makes me get up early every day to train and learn so hard.  I can’t say I am there yet, but I will be there, almost every game I take charge of counts towards that moment, for me every game is a FIFA World Cup final. Whenever I walk into stadiums, it's always eclectic, and that the moment, I always say to my colleagues, we’re living in a generation where football is beyond special, we know what football is, what it means to hearts and lives of so many, there are highs and lows, and when those highs come along you want to embrace them. I can’t wait for that moment to have my debut for the English Premier League, but nothing is bigger than my FIFA World Cup debut” he shared.

We are very proud of Ericsson and all alumni representing our school and country at large. Share with us other alumni stories and achievements and we will share with everyone. Send us an email at alumni@schoolofstjude.co.tz