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Kuala Lumpur: Forty participants convened once again for the second stage of preparation for the AFC Additional Assistant Referees (AAR) system implementation that began on Tuesday in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The introduction of the AAR system was approved by the AFC Referees Committee on September, 2016, and will make its first appearance on the continent in the 2017 AFC Champions League quarter-finals first leg match between Al Ain (UAE) and Al Hilal (KSA) on August 21.

The AAR system aims to strengthen the support for referees and enhance the decision making process, particularly in the penalty and goal-line area. In operational terms, the referee, two assistant referees and the fourth official will now be joined by two AARs, who will be positioned along the goal-line in each half.

Other than enhancing the decision making process, the application of the AAR system is beneficial towards reinforcing match control through teamwork between the referee and the AARs by having two different angles of vision when looking at the same incident. This creates an improved assessment in and around the penalty area, especially when the referee clearly missed the incident.

AFC Referees Committee Deputy Chairperson Hany Taleb B S Al-Raeesi who gave the opening remarks said: “In just over a month, Asian refereeing will make history. With the world watching, the stakes are high and it is our duty to ensure the success of the AAR system.

“Under the banner of One Asia, One Goal, our referees have a key role to play in realising the future ambitions for Asian football. Let’s work hand-in-hand to bring our aspirations to life, to secure an even brighter future for Asian refereeing.”

Over the course of four days, practical sessions will be held daily to simulate on-the-job situations, along with feedback sessions and group discussions after. On the first day, International Football Association Board Technical Director David Elleray updated the referees with the latest Laws of the Game amendments. They also revisited the concept, protocol and technique of the AAR presented by the AFC Instructors, to bring consistency and uniformity into the application of the system.  

Elleray will also be presenting on the Video Assistant Referee system the following day which was introduced in the first course held in Doha, Qatar back in March.

Photo: AFC