Colombo: Referees are getting all set for the inaugural U-14 Girls’ Regional Championship for South and Central Asia held in the capital city of Sri Lanka.
Eleven women’s referees started their five-day preparatory course on Thursday before the six-nation competition, which used to be an educational festival, happens from March 5 to 10.
M. Muhiseen Ariff, the FIFA Refereeing Development Officer for the South and Central region and Chairman of the Referees Committee of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL), graced the course opening as the chief guest, saying:
“Refereeing is an integral part of the game and the proponents need to be updated on the latest Laws of the Game. We’d like to thank the AFC for all the support given to host the AFC U-14 Girls’ Regional Championship 2013 for the South and Central region and Referee Preparatory Course for the fourth time.
He further stated the objective of the AFC in preparing the referees before the start of the championship, which is to ensure that the referees will be able to apply the Laws of the Game efficiently.
“You are very lucky to have an experienced and knowledgeable AFC Referee Instructor, Niu Hujiun from China, who took charge of Women’s World Cup matches and many women’s tournaments conducted by FIFA/AFC,” he said.
“And to have one of the senior AFC Referee Instructors, Masoud Enayat from Iran, is an added bonus to increase your knowledge and please make use of this golden opportunity to learn.
“I wish you the best of luck in the course and the Championship. On behalf of the President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, I’d like to thank the AFC for its generous contribution to the future of Asian referees.”
Niu also gave her comments: “I am very happy to be here again for the fourth time and I have seen many faces before who attended the previous (festival) matches and urge all the participants to work hard to achieve success.
“I’d like to thank the Football Federation of Sri Lanka for all the hospitalities rendered and look forward to a successful course.”
FFSL Director of Referees A.M. Yapa is coordinating the course assisted by Ranjith Muhandiram and S.H.C.K. Jayaratna.
The women’s referees attending the course are Chakma Jaya, Akter Salma (BAN), Nasrollahi Sara, Qorbani Mahsa, Mahnaz Zokaee (IRN), Jana Monika, Gurusamy Runadevi (IND), H.W.W. Piyadarsheni, H.M.M. Madushnika, S.K.D.N.N.S. Karunaratna and Loshini Karunaratna (SRI).
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran and Tajikistan are the participating countries in the South and Central championship.