KUALA LUMPUR (29 Nov 2019) – Participants benefited from the AFC Refereeing Conference which came to a close this week.

The two-day event, the biggest-ever held, saw the participation of 65 referee assessors and 304 referees and assistant referees, was aimed at providing the Asian refereeing community with an overview of the season, studying the patterns to build upon the strengths and target areas for improvement as well as debating the latest trends.

Ahead of the event, eight referees and assistant referees were presented the AFC Referees Memento Award for their outstanding service in raising the refereeing standards in Asia.

Technical Director of IFAB, David Elleray led sessions on Laws of the Game Amendments and Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system alongside FIFA Director of Refereeing Massimo Busacca, while Alejo Perez Leguizamon, AFC Fitness expert, touched on the finer points of Refereeing Fitness.

Day Two of the conference kicked-off with a dialogue session with legendary Italian match official Pierluigi Collina, Busacca, AFC Director of Referees Shamsul Maidin and AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh.

The attendees were briefed on the technical and tactical evolution of football, the role of referees, new technologies as well as perspectives from the players and referees’ points of view in suggesting ways of contributing to a better and fairer game.

Shamsul, who closed the seminar on behalf of AFC General Secretary, Dato’ Windsor John, said: “It was made clear in yesterday’s session that, Asian officials are renowned throughout the world of football – but we must continue to improve.

“Together, we must learn and be aware of the ever-evolving trends in football and we must share the knowledge and experience with our Member Associations.

“The AFC is always finding new ways to strengthen our competitions for fans and stakeholders. And at the heart of these competitions are our match officials.”

Busacca, who had graced some of the biggest stages in world football, said: “AFC has always produced very good referees and assistant referees over the years.

“We have seen them in action at important games, in the Finals, and at the international level, because they are competent and have good work ethics.”

 “This conference is very important to inform referees about how they have to work and like any other job, if you put in the effort, the results will come. This year Asia has demonstrated that it has good referees coming through the ranks.

“Women referees from Asia have shown tremendous development. Over the years we have seen some really good refereeing by women and the only way they can improve is to let them officiate the men’s tournaments. That is the best way to development.”