The letter has been sent to FIFA,
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) will gradually train Indonesian referees to lead international competitions, such as the World Cup, PSSI Chairman Erick Thohir said, Thursday.

"First, the referees must be qualified (to lead the matches) according to the standards in Asia (Asian Football Confederation/AFC). Gradually, (through long-term training) it is expected that they can lead a World Cup or other international tournament matches," he informed.

However, the efforts to improve the quality of Indonesian referees and the national team will take a long time, he said at a press conference at Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Arena here.

On June 15–16, 2023, PSSI carried out an assessment and selection, which was participated by 161 referees and 2 assistant referees holding Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) licenses, as well as a referee holding an AFC Elite Referee license.

The selection was carried out in collaboration with the Japan Football Association (JFA).

Yoshimi Ogawa, a member of the referee committee of JFA, as well as Toshiyuki Nagi, referee instructor and top amateur referees' manager at JFA, served as instructors and supervisors during the selection.

A total of 27 referees holding FIFA licenses who served in the 2022/2023 Liga 1, Indonesia’s top flight soccer league, and 54 referees holding FIFA licenses who served in the 2022/2023 Liga 2, the second-tier of Indonesia’s football competition, passed the selection.

The lone referee holding the AFC Elite Referee license also passed the selection.

The top 18 selected referees will be assigned to lead the matches of the 2023/2024 Liga 1. Meanwhile, the other 24 referees and 40 referees will serve in Liga 2 and Liga 3, respectively.

Furthermore, Thohir said that PSSI will provide further training to referees in the future, including on the use of the video assistant referee (VAR), which is expected to be used in Liga 1 from February 2024.

He said that he has written to FIFA to send the chairperson of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, as well as a number of instructors to further help improve the quality of Indonesian referees.

"The letter has been sent to FIFA," he added.

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Translator: Fajar Satriyo, Uyu Liman
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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