Referees ● Mar 27, 2020

Precautionary measures taken for first Referees Basic Course of the year


SINGAPORE, 27 MARCH 2020 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) held its first Referees Basic Course of the year over the weekend of 21 March 2020 at Jalan Besar Stadium.


Attended by 30 participants, the three-day course was conducted by Referee Instructors, Tan Yew Chong and K Surindranath, who covered the application and interpretation of the Laws of the Game through both theory and practical sessions. As part of the assessment, participants undertook online quizzes as well as theoretical and physical tests. They will also have to pass a practical assessment in the coming weeks.


“I sincerely hope participants are able to better understand why certain decisions are made by the referees and most importantly, increase their appreciation of the game and the integral role that referees play,” Tan said.


“Regardless of the level of the refereeing they may progress to in the future, the course should also provide them a good insight to the less glamorous side of the game where dedication, discipline and hard work are key success factors.”



The participants also had the opportunity to learn from experienced FIFA Referee Abirami Naidu. With 15 years of refereeing experience under her belt, she is one of only two female FIFA referees in Singapore. FAS Class 2 Referee Huang Xin Jie, who officiates in the domestic amateur leagues, was also present to share his experiences.


Precautionary measures in place


Amidst growing COVID-19 concerns, the FAS abided by directives issued by relevant government authorities and took the necessary precautionary measures to ensure participants’ safety during the duration of the course.


Nazeer Hussain, Head of FAS Referees, noted that the participants were divided into smaller groups when doing practical activities and were given ample break times during the duration of the course.


He added, “A bigger training room was used and the seating was also spaced out for the participants to give them a more comfortable environment as well as to maintain social distancing. Basic measures such as temperature taking and travel declarations were also in place. As the course size was less than 35 participants, we were still in line with the directive provided by the relevant authorities [Editor’s Note: At the time when the course was conducted, the advisory by the Ministry of Health was to suspend all events and gatherings with 250 or more participants attending at any one time]. However, it was ensured that the necessary precautions measures were put in place.”



Tan Ai Ling Marilyn, one of only three female participants in the course, admitted she was concerned that the course would be postponed due to the current situation but was glad it went on.


“The course was very interesting and engaging,” she said. “I learnt the importance of the positioning of a referee or assistant referee and how fitness plays a part in ensuring they are in the right position as much as possible. I have definitely gained a greater respect for referees and assistant referees, knowing that there is so much to consider in a split second before making a decision that could impact the outcome of a game.”


The 26-year-old, who currently plays for South Avenue SA, was spurred on by her referee friends to sign up for the course.


She added, “I wanted to continue being involved in football and maintain my fitness when I eventually stop playing competitively. I felt that being a referee would allow me to experience a different aspect of football that not many players are able to.”



Sharing similar sentiments, Muhammad Faris Bin Abdul Rahman felt that being a referee will allow him to appreciate the game differently.


“Football has always been a sport that I’ve enjoyed both as a player and spectator ever since it was first introduced to me,” he said. “However, being a referee offers me a whole different perspective to the beautiful game and allows me to appreciate it a lot more holistically.


“It is also not a simple job as it requires you to command respect from the players, coaches and spectators based on your decision making skills and not just your authoritative power.”


The next Referees Basic Course will tentatively be held in June. Interested participants may refer here for more information.