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Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) determination to maintain the high standard of refereeing across Asia was underlined, not only by today’s AFC Referees Committee meeting, but also with the official opening of the AFC Referee Academy in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow Wednesday.

Chaired by Chung Mong-Gyu, the AFC Referees Committee approved an exchange of officials with CONCACAF in the AFC and CONCACAF Champions League Quarter and Semi-finals to enhance the opportunities of international exposure for AFC referees.

The AFC Vision and Mission sets the objective of providing the best opportunities for Asian teams – including teams of officials – to succeed and flourish on the world stage, and this exchange programme is viewed as an important component in reaching that goal.

Mr Chung Mong-Gyu, in his opening address, underlined the point when he said: “Across the globe, Asian referees are increasingly being regarded as the benchmark for excellence.  We must continue to invest in the development of our referees to help them meet the demands of the modern game.”

The AFC Referees Committee also approved the introduction of the certification of AFC Referee Instructors from 2019 onwards, which will ensure the quality, quantity and consistency of referee training in Asia.

After the introduction of the certification, only those holding the necessary qualifications will be appointed to the AFC refereeing development and competition activities, as AFC underlines its commitment to excellence.

It was also recommended that Asia’s top referees would now be evaluated in match situations rather than the current process for the recruitment of officials to the AFC Elite Referees Panel. It was also suggested that the age criteria for AFC assistant referees be brought into line with the current stipulations for referees.

There was also recognition from the Committee for the appointment of AFC Referees Committee Deputy Chairman Hany Taleb B S Al-Raeesi as the Deputy Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee.

Photo: AFC