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Kuala Lumpur: A seminar for AFC Referees who will be officiating in the final round of qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2018 has begun today in the Malaysian capital attended by 31 participants.

The main aim of the seminar was to ensure that the referees were appropriately updated and had the correct uniformed interpretation of the latest updates in the Laws of the Game.

The most extensive revision to the Laws of the Game in the International Football Association Board's (IFAB) 130-year history would soon be faced by referees, instructors and assessors at all levels, thus it was important for the referees to be prepared to handle the matches as per requirements of the revision to the Laws of the Game.

Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, who graced the opening ceremony, reminded the referees that they represent the best of Asian refereeing.

“It is crucial that you are updated with the latest developments to carry out your duties with utmost precision and accuracy," he said. "You must ensure that you have the right interpretation of the amendments. More importantly, a common understanding of the interpretation must be established to ensure consistency."

Dato’ Windsor also urged the referees to continue to sharpen and strengthen their skills as the competition enters the final stages of Asia’s road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The five-day seminar which encompassed theoretical and practical sessions was delivered by AFC Referee Instructors Ali Altraifi, Subkhidin Mohd Salleh and AFC Referee Fitness Instructors Ganesan Maniam and C. Ravichandran.

Massimo Bussaca, Head of FIFA Refereeing, was among the specially invited guest speakers. Also present was his deputy Manuel Navarro. Juan Fernandez from UEFA and psychologist Jose Sanchez from Spain made up the highly accredited team of instructors and guest speakers who would be looking into all aspects of preparing the cream of Asia’s referees for the challenging task ahead.

The seminar will conclude on July 16.

Photo: AFC