2 referees have graduated from the AFC Project Future Referees Course, following its final development course that took place at the AFC House in Malaysia on Monday, September 24.
The 2016 batch of referees underwent a final evaluation based on their match performance and technical knowledge, and will continue to be monitored for the next two years, enhancing their chances of potential advancement to the AFC Elite Referees Panel.
The graduation of the 2016 batch marks the closure of the AFC Project Future Referees programme, as the AFC Referee Academy – since its launch in 2017 – will be picking up the baton of leading the next development course of young talented referees, as the first educational institution at the Confederation level in offering a continuous tailor-made programme for potential elite referees.
The participants were also the last to benefit from the international experience gathered at the Sanix Cup – an annual International Youth Soccer Tournament that takes place in Japan – that focuses on the values of unity, effort and professionalism, which has strengthened preparation and refined the skills of the AFC refereeing talents.
Among the key highlights of the five-day course in Kuala Lumpur was the referees attending the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship in Group A match between Thailand and Malaysia, where they benefited from observing their more experienced colleagues on the field of play.
Post match debriefings and match analysis were then conducted by the technical instructors to provide the budding referees with further advice on a pathway to improvement.
The 2016 batch joins the previous eight batches that have graduated from the programme since its launch in 2007. The alumnis of the Project Future course include FIFA World Cup referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim and FIFA Women’s World Cup candidate Casey Albeit, as well as 2016 and 2017 AFC Champions League final referees Adham Mohammad and Ahmed Al Kaf.