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One year delay for Malaysia’s professional referee

The global pandemic and the impact on the local game has forced FAM to delay the introduction of professional match officials from 2020 to 2021.

Much like the World Cup and Asian Cup qualifying campaign for the Malaysia national team who saw their 2020 plans completely wiped clean, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) had intended for professional match officials to be introduced to the domestic games in the middle of 2020 but that has now been pushed back.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 has forced football activities to be suspended locally and internationally, causing a big hit to the financial side of things to FAM. With no international matches being played the whole year, there was no income to be earned from the hosting a match at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Businesses around the country are also going through major cuts and deficits which could be one of the reasons why the Professional Match Officials of Malaysia (PMOM) could not take flight this year. 

“We were planning for it to be launched in July of this year but the pandemic changed that. Now it has been postponed to next year and we will make the announcement in the near future,” said Md Dali Wahid, the head of the referee committee at FAM. 

The update was given to the media on Thursday after the seventh referee committee meeting that also took a look at the performance of the match officials in the Super and Premier League matches from this season. While stating that the overall performance was satisfactory, Dali revealed that there were several cases which the committee had to take action on.

Throughout the season, four teams had submitted complaints to FAM on the performance of match officials – those teams are Petaling Jaya City FC, Terengganu FC, UiTM FC and Sabah. 

Two match officials were given a two-week suspension, two others given indefinite suspension while four others were given stern warnings over their subpar performances. Among the major errors being looked at was the inconsistencies of their respective decision making as well as reports from each referee assessor present at the match.

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