Thursday, April 25, 1996

M-League could do with foreign refs (The Malay Mail)

FOREIGN referees for the M-League?
With local referees having trouble coping with the increasingly
demanding League, this is an idea worth considering.
Local referees have done well and even earned praise in Fifa organised
tournaments but the general standard leaves much to be desired.
Many linesmen were promoted to referees at the start of the season and
many coaches and players have been complaining, especially on the uniform
application of the rules.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) secretary-general, Datuk Peter
Velappan said Malaysia and probably Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia
should consider bringing in top foreign referees to officiate in this
"The game has developed a great deal but the development of referees has
not kept pace," said Velappan.
"Local referees are having problems coping with the growing demands of
the game.
"AFC are making efforts to have regular courses to upgrade the standard
of referees.
"In Europe, even districts have a permanent referee's instructor and
referees report to him twice or thrice a week to keep fit and to know the
rules better."
Velappan said local referees could also learn from top European referees
officiating in Asia.
"Also, the local referees will be challenged to be on par with foreign
referees," he said.
The J-League has 18 referees and 43 assistant referees. But they invite
foreign referees to officiate and conduct seminars for their Japanese
This year, three foreign referees - Zoran Petrovic of Yugoslovia,
Armando Archundia of Mexico and Piotr Werner of Poland - are helping out
in the J-League.
Another three foreign referees will join them for the second half of the
China are also considering inviting foreign referees for the second half
of their professional league.
Korea have adopted an Exclusive Referees and Linesmen System this year.
They have contracts with eight referees, eight linesmen and five reserve
referees exclusively for the League.
The contracts are for a year and will be renewed every year based on an
assessment by the Referee's Committee.
However, Velappan said having fulltime referees in Asia at this stage is
debatable as not many officials will risk going professional, especially
with annual assessments.
"For now, it is best to upgrade our standards while getting good foreign
referees to help out," said Velappan.