JOHOR BARU: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will introduce professional referees in the M-League next year.
“We have identified 20 match officials and they will be upgraded into professional referees,” said FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.
He said the initiative was the brainchild of FAM president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim who felt that referees in the country should be upgraded in line with the M-League, which turned fully professional in 1994.
“The referees that we have identified are between 23 to 35 years old. They will undergo training at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya and given an attractive remuneration, including allowances,” he said.
Hamidin added that the national body will set up a special team of instructors to train this group of referees to be ready for next year’s M-League.
“At the moment, let us start with this small group first. Once our financial resources are strong, we will add more match officials into this elite group of referees,” he said.
FAM referees committee chairman Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh said the professional referees would be housed at Wisma FAM before they officiate a match.
“They will be briefed on the teams before a match so that they will be better prepared,” he said.