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Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) presented 23 referees and assistant referees the AFC Referees Memento Award in conjunction with the AFC Referee Assessors Seminar on Thursday.

The award celebrated their endeavours to develop the game and the years of service to the sport. The recipients must have served at least five years on the AFC Elite Panel and participated in more than 30 matches.

AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, who gave the seminar closing address, said: “While we will miss them on the field, I hope that they will continue to share their knowledge and expertise to develop the younger referees.

“As we celebrate their achievements, let us look to them for inspiration to build a better, brighter future for our Asian officials.”

The 14 referees and nine assistant referees received their recognition plaques from Dato’ Windsor.

Among them were veteran Australian referee Ben Williams, the first Australian match official to officiate a FIFA World Cup, during Brazil 2014. Some of the achievements of the 2013 AFC Referee of Year included refereeing in the A-League, Asian Games, AFC Champions League and AFC Cup.

Williams, who spends most of his days teaching in a high school in Canberra, said: “I feel really grateful and honoured in receiving this award, and to be recognised in front of your peers and receive positive feedback is beyond words.”

List of recipients (alphabetically by last name):

Abdulrahman, Mohammed A. M. Hussain (QAT)
Alawaji, Marai Mohammed A. (KSA)
Fan Qi (CHN)
Imaizumi, Nami (JPN)
Kamnueng Pannipar (THA)
Kim Sook-hee (KOR)
Li Juan (CHN)
Salah, Mohamed Noor Shaikh Abbas Alabbasi (BHR)
Shamsuzzaman, Tayeb Hasan (BAN)
Singh, Pratap (IND)
Tan Hai (CHN)
Torki, Mohsen Ramezanali (IRN)
Williams, Benjamin Jon (AUS)
Yousef, Th Y. Th Almarzouq (KUW)

Assistant Referees:

Chiba, Emi (JPN)
Goh Gek Pheng, Jeffrey (SIN)
Lee Jung-min (KOR)
Luay, Subhi Adeeb Al Azawi (IRQ)
Moirangthem, Magho Singh (IND)
Najah, Raham Rashid Alhamaidah (IRQ)
Pak Yong-sun (PRK)
Saydulloev, Bakhrom (TJK)
Thaufeeq, Ibrahim (MDV)

Photo: AFC