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Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Non-Elite Women Referees and Assistant Referees Course  concluded in the Malaysian capital on Friday.

The main objective of the four-day course was to identify potential referees and assistant referees to be promoted to the AFC Elite Panel, with the opportunity to officiate regional, continental and international tournaments, as well as be part of further assessments and future developments.

AFC Director of Referees Shamsul Maidin, who gave the opening remarks, said: “Anchored on the values of unity, leadership and professionalism, we are committed to building a better, brighter future for Asian refereeing.

“Unity in the consistency of our decisions, leadership in our approach and thinking, and professionalism in our conduct, both on and off the pitch are what we are aiming for.”

The 31 referees and assistant referees had to go through rigorous practical sessions every morning and a fitness test. There were also classroom video analysis tests to measure the knowledge, dexterity and aptitude of the match officials.  

One of the most important aspects of the course was to update the referees’ knowledge of the latest Laws of the Game, an interactive practical evaluation and report writing sessions were held.

Development in women referees has seen great strides in the year 2016 where Asian officials took charge at the Rio Olympic semi-final as well as an all-AFC final at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.

During his closing speech, Ali Al Traifi, member of the AFC Referees Committee, said: “As officials, all of you play the pivotal role of upholding the values of fairplay and ensuring the safety of players.

“Moving on from this course, it is essential that you continue to pay close attention to the finer details of good decision making. Often, it is the refinement of these details over time that transforms a good referee into a world-class referee.

“Success will only come to those who study the game meticulously, who have the persistence to commit to a path of lifelong excellence. Together, let’s take Asian refereeing to even greater heights.”

Photos: AFC