Referees ● Jan 28, 2021
Taqi Aljaafari sets new refereeing milestone as Singapore’s first FIFA-accredited video match official
SINGAPORE, 28 JANUARY 2021 – Muhammad Taqi Aljaafari has become the first Singaporean referee to be officially accredited under the new category of FIFA Video Match Officials for 2021. The accreditation comes after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was officially approved for use by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in 2018.
“It is indeed a great honour and milestone for me to be recognised as a Video Match Official by FIFA,” said Taqi, who is the only accredited Singaporean Video Match Official. “Not only does it signify the trust and confidence that the governing body has in me and my performance, but it is also a reflection of the collective achievement of the refereeing fraternity in Singapore.”
The video match officials, who could either be referees or assistant referees, play an important role in supporting the referees in ‘match-changing’ decisions on the field during matches as they are trained to use the VAR system effectively to achieve a high level of accuracy and minimise the time taken in determining the review of a decision or incident.
Prior to the introduction of the FIFA Video Match Officials accreditation, Taqi had officiated as a VAR in the group stage matches of the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea – the first FIFA age-group event which used the VAR system – as well as other FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournaments, including the recent 2020 AFC Champions League held in Qatar.
Taqi noted that he has seen positive and encouraging results based on the overall match statistics.
He shared: “Clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents which occurred in the past are being eradicated in the current modern game and have resulted in fairer and more unbiased results which, in turn, have been welcomed by majority of the teams, players and coaches.”
The 34-year-old, who has also been a FIFA Referee for close to a decade, added: “I hope to gain more experience in VAR set-up matches, especially as more countries, leagues and international tournaments implement the system, and share my experiences with our local FIFA Referees at the same time.
“I believe that this accreditation will serve as a springboard for more Singaporean referees to be appointed as Video Match Officials in the near future.”