Referees ● Jul 09, 2020

FAS taps on FIFA expertise through Online Classroom Tool


SINGAPORE, 9 JULY 2020 – Close to 60 Singapore Premier League (SPL) referees, referee instructors and selected referees recently concluded a FIFA Online Refereeing Course which was held over two weekends in June and July.


Complementing the regular training sessions conducted by local instructors, the FAS organised the four-day course utilising FIFA’s Referee Online Classroom Tool – an initiative introduced to develop, train and provide ongoing support to referees and instructors of Member Associations amidst the global pandemic and resultant social distancing restrictions.


Representing the FAS Referees Department, Abdul Malik Abdul Bashir said: “Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Referees Department is encouraged to look at new ways of teaching methodology by moving our on-field training to online sessions instead. The FIFA Online Classroom was an opportunity for us to tap on the expertise of the FIFA Technical Instructors through the sharing of their experiences and knowledge with our FAS referees and instructors.”


Discussions in key topics such as handball, tactical fouls, challenges and penalty area incidents was led by FIFA Technical Instructor Charles Cheung Yim Yau, who commented: “Apart from updated information and instructions from FIFA, I hope the course can inspire them to understand what is expected of the match officials on the field and how to deal with difficult situations with empathy during the game. With the Continuous Refereeing Development Programme in place, they will be better equipped with the right skillsets to become better referees.”


A key objective of the course was also to ensure that the referees were aligned in their understanding and interpretation of the latest amendments to the Laws of the Game.


He added: “I found that Singapore referees have a very sound understanding of the Laws of the Game and could apply the Laws in line with the football expectation. Through the discussion of incidents during the course, I could tell that they were very committed to learning and keen to improve themselves.”


Ruthran Raj, who attended a FIFA course for the first time, found the sessions to be enriching and useful.


“Given the current climate, the online lessons were well-tailored to provide an effective and convenient learning experience for all referees. The discussion-based approach was really useful as it encouraged referees to share their decisions and exchange opinions in a transparent and constructive manner,” said the Class 1 Referee. “The use of an online platform also challenged us in making quick and correct decisions as a group without any physical interaction and I liked how Mr Charles highlighted the considerations used for decision-making in the field of play.”


Referee Instructors were also engaged in a separate session to enhance their technical knowledge and understanding on key areas including teaching methodologies and coaching techniques for referees.


Malik believes that the course provided a good opportunity for continuous learning and improvement given the current climate and shared that the Referees Department will be looking to organise more of such courses.


“Despite the absence of footballing activities, FAS referees and instructors are still continuing to learn and improve their skills and knowledge. We are able to see improvement in the participants’ understanding and decision-making skills during the course and are confident that they have gained tremendously through the instructor’s sharing.


“We believe our referees and instructors will be better equipped and prepared for officiating duties when the SPL resumes and look forward to more of such sessions from either FIFA or AFC to ensure our refereeing standards remain at the highest level.”