Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) today celebrated a world first when it launched the AFC Referee Academy in its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The objective of the Academy is to ensure the continued success of the AFC’s next generation of referees on the world stage.
As the only academy of its kind in the world, the AFC is a pioneer in developing referee talent and has underlined the desire to further enhance the quality of Asian refereeing by extending educational support to its Member Associations.
Speaking at the official launch of the Academy, AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “Under the banner of One Asia, One Goal, the AFC has set out its Vision and Mission to be the world’s leading Confederation and to ensure the success of our players, teams and officials.
“Our officials – both men and women – continue to stand alongside the world’s best and this new Academy will serve as a catalyst to build a brighter and better future for Asian refereeing.”
Some of Asia’s finest officials, all of whom have featured prominently in both men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups – Alireza Faghani (IRN), Bujsaim Ali Mohamed Saeed (UAE), Fernandes Uvena (IND), Nawaf Abdulla Shukralla (BHR), Ravshan Irmatov (UZB), Rita Gani (MAS) and Ri Hyang-ok (PRK) – were also in attendance to inaugurate the academy.
The AFC Referee Academy will emphasise talent identification and development and will be driven by a comprehensive syllabus, which will be delivered by some of the industry’s best educators as part of the AFC’s Vision and Mission
Providing equal opportunities and as part of efforts to ensure cohesive development across the Continent, the AFC opened the nominations to candidates for the academy to all Member Associations in August 2017.
A total of 43 aspiring elite referees - men and women from 27 Member Associations - have been inducted into the inaugural class of 2017. Participants will undertake a robust four-year curriculum, comprising technical, fitness and psychological aspects.