FAS ● Jan 12, 2023
FAS resumes annual Referees’ Connect
The FAS Referees’ Connect resumed after a two-year hiatus, 7 January 2023.
SINGAPORE, 12 JANUARY 2023 – After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Referees’ Connect was held again last Saturday, 7 January 2023.
The annual event, which first began in 2019, serves as a platform to bring together the FAS Referees’ Committee, FAS Referees’ Department and all FAS referees. As with previous editions, the session covered topics such as the referees’ code of conduct, refereeing psychology, ethics and more. The session also served as a briefing for the referees in attendance on the FAS’ direction and upcoming plans for the community in preparation for the upcoming season.
FAS Acting President, Bernard Tan, highlighted in his address that these plans include growing the referee pool, especially amongst women – a move lauded by Erin Wan, Singapore’s youngest female referee.
From left to right: FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari, Erin Wan, Nicole Low, FAS Acting President Bernard Tan, Sephora Chua and Abirami Naidu, 7 January 2023
The 19-year-old, who recently completed her A Levels, told FAS: “I was pleased to know that he was supportive of the intentions to bring in more female referees, especially since there are currently not many of us. Growing the referee pool, especially amongst the ladies, would allow for more perspectives to be heard. It also allows for a greater representation of women football in Singapore, empowering current players and prospective individuals who wish to join the community.”
This year’s event proved to be a special yet bittersweet moment for referees Nathan Chan and Lim Kok Heng, who have retired from the scene. The pair were presented with a token of appreciation each in recognition of their service and dedication to the game. Lim, who was a referee for over 20 years and formerly a FIFA Assistant Referee, reflected that his journey has been filled with many ups and downs, but it is one he will cherish.
Lim Kok Heng being presented with his token of appreciation, 7 January 2023
“Being a referee for over 20 years takes lots of discipline,” he said. “It may not be smooth sailing most of the time, but my passion for the sport has helped me to weathered many storms. I hope to see younger people remain interested in refereeing so that we can continue to build the next generation of talented and dedicated referees. Don’t be afraid to try!”
To close the session, all the FIFA Referees and Assistant Referees were presented with their FIFA 2023 badges. The chairperson of the FAS Referee Commitee, former national footballer Lim Tong Hai, hopes to see the local refereeing fraternity come together more often and progress to higher standards.
Taqi Jahari being presented with his FIFA 2023 refereeing badge, 7 January 2023
He said: “The Referee’s Connect provides a great platform for the Referees’ Department to share and update all the referees on the workplans and initiatives that they have planned for the years ahead. With the information, I hope all the referees are aware of the developments within the referee’s fraternity and can work towards achieving their goals together. Let’s fly our national flag up high in the international arena with more representation from our FIFA Referees!”