Referees ● Jan 14, 2022

Flying The Nation’s Flag At AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022


Abi with FAS President Lim Kia Tong before she departed for Mumbai this morning.


SINGAPORE, 14 JANUARY 2022 – Singaporean Abirami D/O Apbai Naidu is one of three Southeast Asian referees appointed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup taking place in India this year. The 38-year-old remains the only female Singaporean referee to officiate at the quadrennial international tournament. Abirami, or “Abi” as she prefers to be called, departed for Mumbai this morning to prepare for the tournament.


Upon learning of her selection, Abi said: “I am both excited and humbled to represent Singapore at this special tournament. I look forward to learning from the very best, and to fly our nation’s flag high.”


Abi has officiated at major competitions since becoming Singapore’s first FIFA-accredited female referee in 2009. In 2012, the former national player became the Republic’s first female referee to officiate at a FIFA international tournament. Two years later, she officiated at the 2014 edition of the Women’s Asian Cup. The following year, she fulfilled her dream of officiating at a Women’s World Cup when she was selected to be a referee at the 2015 edition in Canada. Abi was also part of local football history when she, along with Syifa Hannany, Siti Radiah and Rohaidah Nasir formed an all-women referee team which officiated a local football tournament, the Women’s Challenge Cup 2019 final.



Abi during a Singapore Premier League game between Balestier Khalsa and Tampines Rovers at Toa Payoh Stadium on 17 March 21. 


Football Association of Singapore Head of Referees Nazeer Hussain said: “We are all very happy and proud of what Abi has achieved. Her selection for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 bodes well for Singaporean referees for the year ahead.”



General Secretary Yazeen Buhari, President Lim Kia Tong, Head Referees Nazeer Hussain, and Sukhbir Singh with Abi this morning.


The AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 will be the 20th edition of the tournament. For the first time, the competition will see 12 teams vying for the title, instead of the usual eight, with the matches played in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune. The four semi-finalists will qualify directly for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, with a play-off spot available to a quarterfinalist.




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