FAS ● Jun 23, 2023

FAS conducts second Singapore Premier League (SPL) Club Engagement with FAS Referees Department


The FAS Referees and SPL Club representatives, 14 June 2023.


SINGAPORE, 23 JUNE 2023  The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Referees Department conducted the second session of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) Club Engagement series on Wednesday 14 June 2023. The initiative which started at the beginning of the SPL season, is aimed at having a more transparent approach in explaining the decisions made by SPL referees and to create a better working relationship between the participating teams and match officials.


Held at the FAS Headquarters in Jalan Besar Stadium, the session was attended by the Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and players from the participating SPL clubs. The focus for the second session was on a status update of how VAR was being implemented and the resulting feedback from the clubs on how they felt the system was faring.


Sukhbir Singh, Lead Development (Referees), conducting the session, 14 June 2023


Nazeer Hussain, Director (Referees) noted the importance of having such sessions: “Engagement sessions with clubs are important because it builds better relationships between SPL clubs and the referees’ department and provides opportunities to interact in a non-competitive setting. This can help with fostering mutual respect between the clubs and the refereeing fraternity.”


The sentiments shared by the various attendees were unanimous in their continuous support of VAR implementation while voicing out on the issues that need to be fine-tuned. “It is a step in the right direction for the league. The use of the technology could still be fine-tuned by the FAS Referees Department and the match officials, players, and coaches can work on having a better understanding of one another for the betterment of the game” shared Razif Ariff, Performance Analyst for Balestier Khalsa.


Rio Sakuma, a centre-back for Geylang International, opined that the next step for such engagement sessions would be to have the match referees themselves be involved in the discussions as it would allow for players such as himself to have a better understanding of the interpretation of the VAR rules by the match officials. “I hope to see referees attend these sessions so that we can also hear their side of the story and it would enable us as players understand their perspective of how they arrive at certain decisions.”


Albirex Niigata (S) Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga posing a question to the group, 14 June 2023


The next engagement session between the SPL clubs and Referees Department is slated to be held in August 2023.


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