Referees ● Jan 28, 2014
Singaporean officials awarded the prestigious FIFA badge
By Kenneth Tan
15 promising referees got accreditation from the world governing body at the FIFA Referees Assistance Programme opening ceremony
SINGAPORE, 28 January 2014: During the opening ceremony of the FIFA Referees Assistance Programme (RAP) which was held at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday morning, 15 Singaporean officials had the honour to be awarded the prestigious FIFA badge.
Amongst them includes Referees Farhad Bin Mohamed, Jansen Foo Chuan Hui, Mohd Irwan Samsudin, and Assistant Referees Muhd Syarqawi Bin Buhari and Ong Chai Lee.
Getting accreditation by the world governing body meant potentially more opportunities to officiate at international-level competitions – something which 23-year-old Syarqawi is looking forward to in the near future.
“It has been my dream to be listed in the international list since I started refereeing in 2009,” shared the 2013 S.League Assistant Referee of the Year nominee.
“The feeling is akin to representing the Singapore national team, but as an assistant referee.
The positive is that there could be international exposure after attaining the FIFA badge. For me, I like to take a step at a time and gain more experience from international assignments. I’m looking forward to be able to represent Singapore at international matches.”
Of course attaining the coveted FIFA badge is an honour, but according to Rohaidah Nasir, it will bring a whole lot of pressure on a budding referee‚Äôs shoulders.
She is one of the only two (the other being Abirami Naidu) Singaporean female referees to have accreditation by the world governing body.
“Ever since I got listed by FIFA, there are a lot of responsibilities for me,” said the 30-year-old who attained the Badge in 2011.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, it’s like representing Singapore. There are higher expectations, everyone else looks up to you.”
Having opportunities to officiate in FIFA tournaments which were held in Japan, Korea and China since, Rohaidah acknowledged the fact that the FIFA badge had helped her in terms of international exposure.
And she urged Syarqawi to make the best out of this coveted opportunity.
“For females, we do get more international involvement because there’s only two of us. But for the males, it’s harder,” she explained.
“There is a lot of competition amongst them; I think there are eight FIFA assistant referees and seven FIFA referees here in Singapore. They’re not confirmed to get more games thus they have to perform. For the fitness test, they don’t just need to pass; they need to do even better.”
If given the nod for international duties, Syarqawi feels that he is definitely well-equipped to cope with the pressure and intensity.
That confidence comes largely due to having attained the UEFA Core Diploma of Refereeing while away in Nyon, Switzerland for a six-day Centre of Excellence Programme (CORE) last October.
“I’ve learnt how to adapt to the different footballing and refereeing culture from another part of the world,” he shared.
“Besides that, I got a first-hand look at my weaknesses as a referee and from there, I am trying to improve on them.
I also get to experience international-level matches there as well as in France even before I’m officially in the international list. The Programme allowed us to view our performance on videos and also keep in regular contact with our refereeing coaches who are based in Portugal and Cyprus.”
On a side note, the Referees Basic Course will kick off in March 2014 and is now open for registration. Interested applicants can click on this link, http://www.fas.org.sg/referees/referee-course, for more details.
The FAS takes this opportunity to wish the 15 Singaporean officials all the best in their future FIFA endeavours!