Singapore Premier League • September 21, 2023
FAS conducts third Singapore Premier League (SPL) Club Engagement with FAS Referees Department
The FAS Referees and SPL Club representatives, 14 September 2023.
SINGAPORE, 21 SEPTEMBER 2023 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Referees Department conducted its third engagement session with the Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs on Thursday 14 September 2023. The initiative, launched at the start of the 2023 SPL season, seeks to foster greater transparency in the decision-making process of SPL referees and to cultivate improved collaboration between the participating teams and match officials.
Conducted at the FAS Headquarters within the Jalan Besar Stadium, the session once again brought together the different Head Coaches and Team Managers representing the various SPL clubs. During the previous engagement session held on 14 June 2023, the primary agenda was to provide an update on the implementation of VAR as well as to gather feedback from the clubs regarding their perceptions of the system’s performance. For this latest session, an in-depth look into the disciplinary measures meted out by the match officials was the key highlight.
Sukhbir Singh, Manager (Referees), conducting the session, 14 September 2023
The attendees expressed a unanimous sentiment, affirming the need for refinement in certain areas with regards to disciplinary measures. Peter De Roo, Head Coach for Balestier Khalsa remarked, “These sessions are beneficial for both teams and match officials as we have different viewpoints on the game. Ultimately, we are working towards the same goal of making the game more clean and safe for the players playing and exciting for the spectators watching. This represents a positive stride for the league.”
Head Coach for Geylang International, Noor Ali echoed his fellow coach’s sentiment and was of the opinion that the level of officiating had improved with the introduction of VAR to aid the match officials on matters pertaining to discipline. “One of the examples highlighted was of the incident involving our player, Naufal Azman. In the heat of the game, we may not be able to spot the offence however with the presence of VAR, the appropriate action can be taken against an offending player. The club does not condone his actions and we agree that the measures taken against him were right and just. He is still a young talent and he will learn from this experience.”
Sukhbir Singh, Lead Development (Referees) emphasized the significance of conducting these sessions: “Engagement sessions with clubs hold great importance as they facilitate the development of stronger relationships between SPL clubs and the referees’ department. They also offer valuable opportunities for interaction in a non-competitive environment, contributing to the cultivation of mutual respect between the clubs and the refereeing community.”
Albirex Niigata (S) Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga and team posing a question to the group, 14 September 2023
Given the positive response to the engagement sessions, the FAS Referees Department together with the Competitions Department will be looking to conduct more of such sessions on a regular basis in the seasons to come.
Similar initiatives will be rolled out to the other amateur divisions in the near future, with the intent to build a positive working relationship and bridge the gap between the participating clubs and the match officials.