Referees ● Nov 07, 2013

Singaporean Officials Awarded UEFA CORE Diploma of Refereeing


CORE Course Instructor and Chairman of the FA Referees Committee, David Elleray praises Singaporean referees‚Äô performances at officiating a game in France 


As part of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) Programme, four Singaporean officials were given the opportunity to travel to UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland from 4 to 9 October 2013.


Singapore is amongst six countries, the others being Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland and Macedonia, to have been invited to participate in this year’s CORE Programme. The CORE programme, which is managed at the Colovray Sports Centre opposite UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, is an introductory programme for promising young match officials with the aim of developing the skills and fitness of international referees of the future.


The trio, namely 30-year-old referee Mohd Irwan Samsudin, assistant referees Muhd Syarqawi Bin Buhari, 22 and Nathan Chan Rong De, 21, was accompanied by referee instructor John Chia, 50. The four officials had earlier attended the Introductory Course in April this year and their recent trip to Nyon was part of a follow-up Consolidation Course.


The Consolidation Course is conducted with the main objective of evaluating the participants’ progress since their return from the Introductory Course. The CORE Programme is an interactive programme such that the participants keep in regular contact with their course instructors and fitness coaches to monitor their continued development. Through this, the trio’s referee coach, Nuno Castrol from Portugal, was able to devise specific programmes to target areas that require improvement. All three participants recorded significant improvements in all four areas of assessment namely, technical performance, English proficiency, fitness level and attitude towards the programme, and were awarded a UEFA CORE Diploma of Refereeing.


The course programme included hours of video match analysis of various matches around the world, rigorous fitness training and comprehensive theoretical lessons. The participants’ recovery training sessions included 45 minutes of cycling as well as a spa treatment. The trio was enlightened by the fitness coaches of the benefits of these recovery sessions through the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that were available at the UEFA Colovray Training Centre and a visit to a spa in Neydens, France.


As part of the programme assessment, the Association Suisse de Football (ASF) and the Federation Francaise de Football (FFF) allocates matches for CORE participants to officiate. The Singapore trio were appointed to officiate a fourth tier French league match between Olympiques Lyonnaise and A.S Moulins. Despite the setback of rainy weather prior to kick-off, and the physical nature of the game, the trio performed well and even received praises from the UEFA observers. One even noted that the game was the most physical and difficult game he has seen in the CORE programme and the trio did well to keep control of the game.


Irwan, who aspires to follow in the footsteps of other Singaporean FIFA accredited referees, was honoured to have been invited to be a part of the programme, he said “It is a great honour to have attended this prestigious programme and to have been able to train with top referee instructors in Europe. It was also a great opportunity to train alongside our European counterparts as local officials seek to make our mark on the global football map. The international exposure has widened our horizon and the rigorous programme is a reflection of how intense the competition is in the refereeing world. In order to be amongst the best, there is no other option other than hard work and determination. I would like to express my gratitude to FAS, especially the Referees Department and the Referees Committee, and UEFA, for the effort put in to ensure that we are able to receive the necessary exposure so that we stay on top of our game. I hope that I will be able to continue contributing positively to local football.”


Of the positive results achieved by the trio at the end of the programme, Chia noted that “the outstanding performance of our local officials following the conclusion of the course is remarkable and augurs well for the future of local football. They have shown that they are on the same level as their European counterparts and courses like these are important to the development of our officials as we look to fulfilling the objectives set in the Strategic Plan. All three participants are young and have a long career ahead of them and with the clearly defined FAS Referees Development Pathway, I am certain that they will go on to do Singapore proud and add their names to the list of FIFA accredited referees. We hope to further raise their knowledge and capabilities with more of such courses in the future.”


Course Leader and Instructor, David R Elleray, who is also the Chairman of the FA Referees Committee as well as a Member of both the UEFA Referees Committee and the International Football Association Board (IFAB), was also impressed by the performance of the Singapore trio and he hopes to welcome more aspiring referees from Singapore in future UEFA CORE programmes.


FAS wishes all three of them a fulfilling career ahead and will continue to secure more opportunities for our officials to achieve football excellence at every level.