Referees ● Aug 07, 2018

Local Referees Strive for Excellence Through Annual FIFA/FAS Referees Seminar

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SINGAPORE, 7 AUGUST 2018: Thirty referees officiating in the Singapore Premier League attended the FIFA/Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Referees Seminar 2018 conducted by FIFA Referee Instructors Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh and Ganesan s/o Maniam, as well as local instructors.

The four-day seminar, which took place from 2 to 5 August, was organised by the FAS to update local referees on the latest amendments made to the Laws of the Game and instil modern refereeing concept in them.

Apart from spending time in the classroom, practical sessions were also held – with the help of the FAS Football Academy Under-17 and Under-18 boys – to create scenarios to hone the referees’ decision-making skills in areas like offside situations.

FIFA Referee Instructor Ganesan s/o Maniam (in red) conducting a practical session with the referees 

In his opening address, FAS President Lim Kia Tong said: “I am pleased with the Referees’ Committee exploring various initiatives aimed at leveling up the refereeing standards in Singapore. Match officials are pivotal in the football eco-system as they perform a vital role in a football match with their split-second decisions. With the media attention and coverage of football matches, they are constantly scrutinised for every decision made. Thus, expectations on the match officials are immensely demanding in every aspect of the game.

“The landscape for the referees are constantly changing…the journey towards excellence will never be achieved if the referees do not undertake continuous education. The FIFA/FAS Referees Seminar 2018 is a very important platform for improvement and excellence.”

An experienced FIFA and AFC Elite referee, Subkhiddin commented: “I have been following up and watching Singapore’s football matches to see how the referees perform. I can see that Singapore referees have a good character and look mature during the game. They allow teams to play and stop when they reach certain limits (in order) to protect the safety of players. This is what we need in football.

“One of the key points of this seminar is for referees to know and understand football. In football, it is all about the players. As referees, we offer our services to them. We need to understand the Laws of the Game and the players – their characteristics and predict their actions – so that it is easy for us to serve them to play better.”

Subkhiddin was appointed as the Referee’s Technical Instructor for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, where he was tasked to plan the referees’ preparations from a technical aspect, analyse their performances and provide technical explanations to the players and team officials. He had also previously officiated as a referee for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada and as the fourth official in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

FIFA Referee Instructor Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh 

With Subkhiddin’s knowledge and expertise, Acting Head of the FAS Referees Department, Nazeer Hussain, believes that local referees can benefit from the seminar.

“Subkhiddin has been a FIFA Instructor for a very long time,” he said “His appointment as a technical instructor in Russia for the World Cup 2018 speaks very highly of his expertise in this field.

“Our referees were among the first ones to learn about how match officials in the World Cup were mentally and physically prepared for their tasks from Subkhiddin. This knowledge will go a long way in helping our referees in their own preparation towards success.”

Nathan Chan, who has been refereeing since 2009, added: “The seminar was very useful in keeping us updated with the changes in the Laws of the Game, and creating uniformity in the interpretation of the Laws. It also provided a platform for referees to interact, enhance teamwork as well as understanding,which can be translated onto the field of play.

“My biggest take-away from this seminar is learning the expectations of the referees in the recent World Cup. This allows me to identify the areas of improvement for myself and bridge these gaps to achieve those expectations.”

The FAS would like to thank Subkhiddin for taking the time to share his knowledge and experience with our referees. We will continue to look at various ways and initiatives to enhance our referees’ expertise in future.