First Singaporean appointed as AFC director of referees

Shamsul Maidin has earned the prestige of being the first Singaporean to be appointed as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) director of referees.

A former FIFA referee instructor and AFC elite referee assessor, Shamsul will over from Yoshimi Ogawa, who steps down after almost ten years.

“I am humbled by this exciting opportunity and I am relishing the chance to deliver on the strong foundation and standards established by my predecessor. I am very passionate about the education and development of referees in Asia and together with the AFC Member Associations and stakeholders I am confident we can continue to raise the standard of Asian referees,” Shamsul told AFC.

Shamsul had started refereeing in 1996 and continued to do so till 2007. During this time, he became only the second Singaporean to officiate at the World Cup in 2006.

The first Singaporean to do was George Suppiah, at the 1974 edition.

Shamsul’s other achievements include being the only non-African match official to officiate the 2006 African Nations Cup and he won the AFC Referee of the Year twice in 2005 and 2006.

AFC have stated that they are confident they have appointed an adequate replacement for Yoshimi Ogawa,

"Shamsul's wealth of experience, not only in Asia but also globally, places him as a leading expert to maintain and enhance the high standards of refereeing in Asia,” the federation said in a media statement.

"Having risen through the ranks of the continent, Shamsul's glittering career - both as a professional referee and an instructor - makes him a great addition and a valuable asset to the AFC and the member associations."

Photo: Asian Football Confederation