The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) yesterday, January 10 presented the AFC Referees Special Award to Uzbekistan’s Bakhtiyor Namazov at the AFC Futsal Referees and Instructors Seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 43-year-old capped off another remarkable year for Asian refereeing in 2017 when he became the first AFC referee to officiate in the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Bahamas between eventual champions Brazil and Tahiti.
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said, “Our ambition with the AFC’s Vision and Mission is to see our players and officials succeed on the world’s biggest stages. Bakhtiyor Namazov’s performance reinforces once again the enormous strides our match officials continue to undertake and solidifies Asia’s position as global leaders in world refereeing.”
“I am confident that this achievement will inspire not just match officials, but our teams and players in the Continent to aspire and reach the pinnacle of world football. One Asia, One Goal!”
In the Bahamas, Namazov also oversaw the group-stage match between Poland and Brazil, as well as the Brazil and Portugal quarterfinal encounter. He was also a second referee, timekeeper and reserve assistant referee throughout the tournament.
Namazov, who became a FIFA referee in 2009, also officiated the 2015 AFC Beach Soccer Championship – including the final between Oman and Japan – as well as the semifinals of the competition’s most recent edition in Malaysia in March 2017.