AFC delivers new online courses for Asian match officials

The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) match officials have been given the opportunity to complete new online courses, ensuring they remain in sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With world sport currently put on hold, players and now officials alike are looking to keep up their training in order to be ready for when competitions do resume.

The AFC have embraced the use of technology as people are encouraged to stay at home. The introduction of these new courses can be accessed by anyone throughout the continent.

So far, over 300 participants have taken part – including elite men and women referees and assistant referees as well as newly recruited referees who joined the courses, which have focused on theoretical education, online discussions and fitness.

Organised by the AFC Referees Department, the online courses have comprised various topics including laws of the game, video tests, discussion based on case studies and match analysis. Six Referee Technical Educators (RTE), Suresh Srinivasan, Cheung Yim Yau, Niu Huijun, Etsuko Fukano, Awni Hassouneh and Vladislav Tseytlin, have been assigned to lead these online courses in designated zones in Asia.

“It is not a normal period, as most of the activities are postponed in Asia. During this critical period where most people are under lockdown procedure, AFC Referees Department decided to organise the online activities to keep the referees engaged in football,” Ali Al Traifi, the RTE Coordinator, said.

“This is a good opportunity to refresh their memories on the laws of the game and to get them thinking on their interpretation of match incidents. It is also important to conduct some activities for the new elite referees and women referees as well during this restricted movement period.”

The AFC Referee Academy courses are also ongoing with academy educators Farkhad Abdullaev, Hakan Anaz, Sachiko Yamagishi conducting the technical sessions online with academy members from 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively while instructors Alejo Perez Leguizamon and Ravichandran Chappanimutu manage the fitness sessions.

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Adelaide United confirm PSV legend as Technical Director

Adelaide United confirmed that PSV legend and former Dutch international Ernest Faber will become the club’s Technical Director.

This announcement is linked to the recent strategic partnership between Adelaide United and Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, further demonstrating the Club’s commitment to longer term football investment.

Securing someone of Faber’s elite European football prestige is a brilliant move by the Reds and will advance their already successful off-field development plan that has seen Nestory Irankunda and Joe Gauci leave for big funds.

Faber was appointed Assistant Manager of the Netherlands national team in 2011 under Bert van Marwijk and worked with the national side at the UEFA Euro 2012.

Faber became PSV’s Head of Youth Academy in 2018 and will conclude his tenure there on June 30, 2024. He will join the Reds in July, relocating to Adelaide.

Faber expressed his excitement at joining the club and the challenges that lie ahead for him.

“I am truly honoured and excited to be starting this new challenge and cannot wait to get started,” Faber said in an interview.

“When I came to visit Adelaide in January, I was very impressed with the culture of the Club.

“There are a number of really good young players in South Australia, and I am really excited to work with Marius and the entire Football Department to help elevate the Club to the standards it strives for.”

Adelaide United Chair, Ned Morris mentioned how impactful this move was going to be for the club’s future.

“Today is a monumental day for our great club and we are absolutely thrilled that Ernest has committed to Adelaide United,” Morris said in a club statement.

“Our goal is to become the most successful Club in Australia, and having Ernest’s wealth of experience on and off the field is incredibly valuable to us.

“Having Ernest within our ranks strengthens our ties with PSV Eindhoven and will give us opportunities to work with the next generation of great young prospects in their Youth System.

“We look forward to the positive influence Ernest will have in our Football Department and the organisation as a whole.”

Adelaide United recently embarked on a journey to Eindhoven to link up with the Dutch club and give players, coaches and officials the opportunity to engage with PSV Academy, renowned for nurturing some of the brightest talents in European football.

This new partnership with PSV and appointment of Ernest Faber is part of an ambitious long-term plan that promises growth, success, and a shared passion to nurture young talent and generate success on and off the field.

FIFA trialling Video Support challenge technology

Football Video Support (VS) has been introduced by FIFA as another means of technology to review decisions.

VS is a video review system by FIFA that is the answer to member associations that cannot implement the video-assistant-referee (VAR) system because their human and financial resources are limited and very few cameras are in use in their competitions.

There are cameras set up around the pitch, either human-operated or automated that are used by referees to make decisions after a coach reviews the play.

FIFA are currently trialling VS with a goal to explore new and existing technologies to positively impact the game, especially in order to help referees to make correct decisions, while ensuring that their potential use is cost-effective, beneficial and practical across the global football community.

How does VS work?

  1. Football Video Support (VS) is a video review system introduced by FIFA as a solution for member associations that are unable to implement the video assistant referee (VAR) system.
    a. Goal/no goal
    b. Penalty/no penalty
    c. Direct red cards (not second cautions)
    d. Mistaken identity (when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team)
  2. VS can be utilized only after the referee has made a decision (including waving play on as a decision) and a team has subsequently requested a review.
  3. Only the team’s head coach (or, in their absence, the senior team official in the technical area) can request a review. This request must be made immediately after the incident by twirling their finger in the air and handing a review request card to the fourth official. However, each player has the right to ask their head coach to initiate a review request.
  4. The fourth official will inform the referee of the review request and, if play has stopped (and not restarted) since the incident, the referee will go to the referee review area (RRA) to review the replay footage. If play has continued since the incident, the referee will stop play when the ball is in a neutral zone and go to the RRA to review the replay footage.
  5. During the review, the referee will be assisted by a review operator, who will show replay footage on the monitor (e.g. different camera angles, split screen, different replay speeds, etc.).
  6. The original decision taken by the referee will not be changed unless the video replay footage shows clear evidence that the decision was a clear and obvious error or that there has been a serious missed incident. As the VS system involves a small number of cameras, the replay footage will often be inconclusive and thus the original decision may not be changed.
  7. The review request must be made immediately to:

– conform to the Laws of the Game requirement that a decision cannot be changed once play has restarted after a stoppage; and

– prevent unnecessary delays to the game while the team’s head coach (or, in their absence, the senior team official present in the technical area) considers whether to make a review request.

  1. After a goal is scored, the fourth official will review the footage on the monitor and inform the referee if a clear and obvious offense was committed by the attacking team. Unless the decision involves factual matters, the referee will then review the incident and make the final decision.

During the trial phase, it is expected that each team will be able to make two requests per match. If the review by the referee results in the original decision being changed, the team retains (does not lose) that review request.

The technology is not going to replace VAR, it is just going to be used as a cheaper alternative in leagues and associations that lack the current VAR technology to ensure fairness and accuracy across all levels of professional football.

FIFA state that there is no specific timeline, and no decision has been made on when the implementation will take place.

They are currently at the trial stage and after assessing the outcome of the trial will talk with the relevant stakeholders in order to decide on the next steps, including potential additional trials by FIFA and other governing bodies.

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