Domestic Competitions ● Mar 13, 2018
Raising the Bar for Local Match Commissioners
In a first, experienced course instructor from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) passes on knowledge and experience over three days
SINGAPORE, 13 MARCH 2018 – In a bid to develop capabilities and improve the quality and professionalism of the sport in Singapore, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), in conjunction with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), conducted a three-day Match Commissioner course from 9 to 11 March at Jalan Besar Stadium.
The comprehensive course, held for the first time, was led by Mr Jeysing Muthiah and attended by 30 participants comprising both experienced and aspiring Match Commissioners and Match Inspectors.
Match Commissioners play a crucial role in ensuring excellence in match-day organisation and participants found the course beneficial as they were able to learn about the expertise required at AFC and FIFA levels.
“Mr Jeysing is very knowledgeable and he brought an AFC perspective on the rules and regulations of the game,” noted S. Mahalingam.
Former AFC match commissioner Salikin Sarkawi, who has been a match commissioner for the S.League since 2010, concurred: “I was still able to gain a lot of knowledge as the instructor went into a lot of detail and provided clear explanations for various scenarios. I believe that this will be able to raise the level of professionalism in football in Singapore as match commissioners and inspectors are now aware of the industry standards.”
His sentiments were echoed by fellow course attendee Kelly Lim, who only just dipped her toes into the world of becoming a match commissioner this past weekend. The only female participant, her interest was sparked by her sister, who plays for Women’s Premier League team Winchester Isla FC, and a desire to contribute to the local women’s football scene.
“This course has been very useful for me as someone who is completely new,” she said.
Course Coordinator Yusri Umar noted that previously, match commissioners and inspectors were briefed on their expectations in an annual seminar that was focused on the local context. With courses like these, he hopes they will aspire towards reaching higher standards.
“(Now), the participants of the course will be expected to be more professional and proficient at their duties as they will now have to apply what they have learnt from the course and elevate the standard of match organisation,” he said.
Match inspector Kamaludeen Rasid described the course as “good education” for those aspiring to do more.
“This is very beneficial to people who want to go to the next level, which is to do AFC games,” he said. “It’s a good step, a good direction (by FAS).”
While it was hard work to create a syllabus that was able to incorporate the local context and cater to both the experienced match commissioners and newcomers while also keeping the AFC standards in view, the efforts of Yusri and his team received rave reviews from the participants.
The participants got to try their hand at inspecting Jalan Besar Stadium, role-play as ball boys, and also run through their roles in a practical session during a match between the FAS Football Academy Under-17 and Under-18.
Course instructor Mr Jeysing commended the FAS for proactively bringing together all the match commissioners and inspectors in Singapore to share the best practices in the region.
“Participants not only learn about the AFC and FIFA standards, there are also discussions on situations that happen in different competitions which could be applicable domestically,” he said.
“The takeaways from the course will improve the capabilities of the Match Commissioners and help them carry out their duties and responsibilities in a more comprehensive way.”
Kamaludeen emphasised that match commissioners have to take their role seriously, regardless of the level of the matches.
“We have to approach the game with commitment,” he said. “As legislators and administrators, we need to work towards professionalism.”
The ball is now in the match commissioners and inspectors’ court as they take the stage in the various local football tournaments which are due to start in March.