Referees perform a vital role in games to ensure that the rules are interpreted and applied with absolute consistency wherever and whenever they are played.
Thus, it is integral that referees maintain high refereeing standards at all levels of the game. To ensure this, the FAS Referees Department conducts regular fitness and analysis training sessions as well as organises workshops with experienced referees and instructors from the region and beyond throughout the year.
The calibre of Singapore referees has been recognised at both regional and international levels over the years. Our history of refereeing at the global stage go all the way back to 1974 where George Suppiah and Shamsul Maidin officiated as referees at the FIFA World Cup in West Germany and the 2006 edition in Germany respectively. In the role of an assistant referee, K. Visvanathan officiated in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan while Jeffrey Goh represented Singapore at the 2010 edition in South Africa.
In more recent years, Singapore’s refereeing trio of Muhammad Taqi Aljaafari bin Jahari, Ronnie Koh and Abdul Hannan were appointed to officiate at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland. Taqi, Ronnie and Edwin Lee had also previously officiated at the 2017 edition of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India and the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup held in the United Arab Emirates. Our female referees have also flown the country’s flag high with FIFA Assistant Referee Rohaidah Nasir appointed to the 2018 Asian Games Women’s Football Final and FIFA Referee Abirami Naidu officiating at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Singapore has also seen FIFA Fitness Instructor M. Ganesan selected to groom and mentor match officials from Asia for international tournaments, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
As the local and international football scene continues to grow in popularity, the Referees Department aims to increase the number of qualified referees, particularly female referees. There are currently about 200 registered referees in Singapore and a clear development pathway is in place to help all aspiring referees achieve their goals.