Participants praise AFC Referee Academy
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Referee Academy programme continues to educate potential match officials, with the initiative benefitting more than 100 aspiring referees from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Associations since 2017.
With the aim of producing more world-class match officials, participants undergo a structured programme focused on practical, theoretical, classroom sessions, technical education and fitness. They are also educated on the latest amendments to the Laws of the Game.
It was a successful year in 2019 with Batch 2017 completing five modules of the Intermediate Level, while Batch 2018 underwent the full Introductory Level and kicked off the first module of the Intermediate Level from December 8 to 12, 2019.
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The impact of the AFC Referee Academy is evident as 19 referees have already become FIFA referees within two years of joining the Academy.
By February, 2020, an additional 41 referees will begin their journey in Batch 2019. Including participants from this group, the Academy has welcomed referees from 37 Member Associations since its launch.
Participants of the AFC Referee Academy hailed the programme which has helped them raise their knowledge and fitness levels to a higher standard.
Alex George King, participant of the Batch 2017, who recently signed a professional referee contract with the Football Federation Australia from 2019 to 2022 and is listed under FIFA for 2020 said: “The academy has been massive for me. I’m fitter now and I know the Laws of the Game better. I definitely feel more confident when I’m out on the field.
“The academy is a four-year course and we do a lot of training and go through many aspects of refereeing. Even when we are not in Kuala Lumpur we are doing a lot of discussions remotely so there is a lot of interaction between us and the AFC.
“This programme has certainly helped me achieve my goal of becoming a full-time referee in Australia.”
Tian Jin, currently going through the Introductory Module 4 and who has shown good progress since joining the first module added: “I’m a former player but it is different when you are a referee. You need to be fitter and you need to know the Laws of the Game to be a top referee.
“This academy has been good for me and for everyone taking part. It gives you a better understanding of what it means to be a referee. After joining the academy, I’ve trained very hard and continue to do so to prepare for the next module,” she said.
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