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Kuala Lumpur: The AFC elite referees and assistant referees have begun preparing for AFC Competitions in 2018 by attending a seminar which began on Monday in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

144 participants are gathered in Kuala Lumpur and 139 in Dubai for the five-day seminar.

The participants are divided into two groups per venue, with the first group kicking-off from 20 to 24 November and the second from 26 to 30 November.

Following its success last year, the seminar involves male and female participants.

AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, who opened the seminar, said: “Our referees have continued to grace the biggest stages in world football, but we must never take our achievements for granted.

“There is a long road ahead, starting here with the preparation for the 2018 competitions. I urge you to continue to sharpen and strengthen your skills as we aim to ensure another historic year for Asian refereeing.”

The programme consists of two parts, theoretical and practical, which will be conducted by AFC’s five top technical and two top fitness instructors in each venue.

The referees will go through various classroom sessions on match incidents, foul recognition, nutrition and injury prevention, integrity and competition matters. The latest Laws of the Game amendments will also be revisited, which includes a trivia and offside video test.

As for the practical sessions, it consists of the FIFA Fitness Test that participants must complete in order to be eligible for appointments in the new season. Their actual performance will be also assessed through the instant feedback replay exercises and simulated match situations.

Photos: AFC