AFC underlines commitment to strengthen referees’ development
Qingdao: The continued rise of Asian refereeing was further emphasised today at the first meeting of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Referees Committee for the term 2019-2023 in Qingdao, China PR.
In his opening remarks, Chairperson H.E. Du Zhaocai paid tribute to the Continent’s officials, noting their commendable performance and achievements on the world’s biggest stages.
He said: “Referee development is a key focus for the AFC and Asian referees are already world-class. Our role in this Committee is to ensure our officials continue to improve.
“We must increase the elite referees and raise the overall standards in Asia and to achieve this, we must give our Member Associations the best chance to succeed.”
Strengthening the foundations for its Member Associations, the Committee were updated on the progress of the AFC Referee Academy, which is already making a significant impact on expanding the AFC’s talent pool, with as many as seven officials registered on the FIFA International list since its launch in November 2017.
The Committee also noted the highly successful implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, introduced for the first time from the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, which also saw a record of 60 match officials appointed for the competition. From a total of 81 checks and six reviews, the VAR system improved the accuracy of decision-making by 4.9 percent
As part of efforts to raise the competency standards of fitness instructors across the Continent, the Committee agreed to accredit top fitness instructors, which will ensure a more stringent and comprehensive selection process while raising the quality and level of consistency.
Moving forward, the Committee agreed that only certified fitness instructors will be appointed to the AFC’s refereeing development activities and competitions.
Members also approved the recommendation to re-designate the current AFC certified Referee Instructors as Elite Referee Instructors, recognising their role and status within the AFC’s Referee Instructors panel.