World refereeing workshop held in Asia

Attendees at the inaugural Refereeing Experts Workshop gather for a group photo on April 25, 2017, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CONCACAF Director of Refereeing Brian Hall is standing, fifth from the right. (Photo courtesy of the Asian Football Confederation)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The development of world refereeing took center stage in Asia on Tuesday as some of the biggest names in the field gathered for the opening of the inaugural Refereeing Experts Workshop.

The two-day workshop – organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) -- aimed at understanding the various refereeing strategies currently employed by all six Confederations and FIFA, as well as to identify opportunities for closer collaboration.

Referees’ department heads and representatives from all six Confederations – plus AFC Referees Committee Deputy Chairman, Hany Taleb B S Al-Raeesi; FIFA Head of Refereeing, Massimo Busacca; and FIFA Referees Committee Chairman, Pierluigi Collina -- were present to bring their expertise to the discussions.

AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, who opened the workshop said: “The AFC has outlined our ambitions to ensure our players, teams and officials succeed on the world stage. We are here because we share common aspirations to raise the standards of officials worldwide.”

Beginning with the AFC, each Confederation shared their development structures on the first day and considered administration, education and development programs, competitions management, in addition to training and preparation.

Additional Assistant Referees, Video Assistant Referees and Goal-line technology were also discussed as representatives highlighted the need for continued uniformity.

CONCACAF Director of Refereeing Brian Hall, who officiated at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea Republic/Japan said: “This is a historic and vital meeting for all the Confederations because it facilitates the process of examining best practices and forging closer team work to address future challenges of modern refereeing.

“Through the networking and sharing, it is beneficial for us at CONCACAF to maximize the different referees’ programs, products and services, from grassroots to elite level that we are currently delivering. Ultimately we all have the same goal, to help every referee regardless of their nationality be the best they can be.”

Attendees agreed that the workshop was an excellent opportunity for the global refereeing family to share, learn and grow together, with the hope that similar gatherings will be held in the future.