Pioneer woman football ref of substance

IT has been 44 years but Sunday, March 1,1976, was a historic day not only for Salasiah Din (pic) but also the domestic football scene.

The 30-year-old lady and mother of three made heads turn as she was selected to officiate as a referee in an inter-district final between Taiping and Ipoh at the Perak Stadium.

Salasiah kicked off her career as a player before becoming a lineswoman in 1974 and later passed her Class 3 refereeing examination in 1975.

In what was to be her first official game as a referee at night in September 1976, the floodlights went out five minutes before the break in a charity shield match in Johor Baru.

Besides becoming a permanent fixture in the Tun Sharifah Rodziah Cup, Salasiah was given the privilege to officiate at the Asean Women’s Football Championship in Bangkok in 1982, followed by the Asian Women’s Football Championship at the same venue in 1983.

Both competitions were organised by the Asian Ladies Football Confederation (ALFC), an entity which later merged with the Asian Football Confederation in 1986.

Salasiah’s pioneering exploits paved the way for Zakiah Zainal Abidin, Rosnah Maksom, Norhayati Arshad and later on Rita Ghani and Widiya Habibah Samsuri to carve a niche in the profession. — Football Association of Malaysia.

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