Referees ● Jul 25, 2018

Bridging the gap between referees and club officials

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“Is this considered a foul?”

“Is this considered a yellow or red card?”

These were the questions raised to Singapore Premier League (SPL) club representatives during a sharing session with the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) Referees Department on Monday night.

A total of 12 representatives from six SPL clubs attended the session conducted by local referee instructor Mohd Ali Samad and former AFC Elite Referee Abdul Malik.

Following feedback from clubs to the Referees Department, the session was organised to create awareness on how referees’ decisions are made in the game and bridge the gap between coaches, administrators and match officials on the concepts of decision-making.

Referee instructor Mohd Ali Samad

“I think it is good for us to have more sharing sessions so that club officials will be aware about the considerations that referees have before they make decisions in a split second – whether they have a good angle, the action and position of players. It is not easy for referees to make a good decision at the correct time and place during the game and there is immense pressure on them to perform well,” said Ali.

Young Lions team manager Samuel Tan commented: “The game is constantly evolving as we go along and it will only get more detailed. It is important that we – as administrators – together with coaches, are exposed to such knowledge, keep up and update ourselves on the Laws of the Game. We need to adopt a “learn, unlearn and relearn” approach to our respective contributions to the sport.”

Club officials learnt about the concepts and application of the Laws of the Game – through a series of video clips where they reviewed and discussed various refereeing situations including physical challenges and tactical fouls – and raised questions about decisions made by referees on the field.

“It helped us understand better that referees, more often than not, find themselves in challenging situations where they have to make a quick and accurate decision, yet with so many considerations to be thought through before arriving at an outcome,” noted Tan.

Former AFC Elite Referee and current Referee Administrator Abdul Malik

Balestier Khalsa FC head coach Marko Kraljevic added: “We had a great discussion with the Referees Department and it was useful for me to clarify any doubts regarding certain refereeing decisions on the field. Watching from the sidelines, there are times when I feel that the referees should have made another call, especially on offside situations. I recognise that the referees may not see the situation in the same way as us and there are some decisions which are not as clear cut.”

With the overall aim of developing clubs’ capabilities, the FAS Referees Department hopes to give coaches and administrators a clearer understanding on the Laws of the Game and its applications such that they will be able to manage their respective areas with the necessary expertise. The FAS will also continue in our efforts to continually enhance refereeing standards in domestic competitions.