CAFA Referees Seminar 2024: A Step Forward Towards Higher Standards of Officiating


The Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) organized the Referees Seminar and maiden VAR course in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from 21-23 January and 24-25 January 2024 respectively. The seminar aimed to elevate the level of refereeing in the region and further develop the professional skills of the Match Officials to be assigned to CAFA competitions in 2024.

The seminar was attended by 17 male and 8 female referees from across the CAFA member countries: Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The participants underwent theoretical and practical sessions where they explored different refereeing topics such as the latest amendments in the Laws of the Game, video tests, penalty area incidents, handballs, tactical fouls, and offside decisions. A fitness check was conducted for the Referees to assess their physical condition ahead of the season.

The seminar was delivered by a group of experienced instructors:

Mr. Vladislav Tseytlin — Main Instructor — Uzbekistan

Mr. Valentin Kovalenko — Instructor — Uzbekistan

Mr. Bakhadyr Kochkarov — Instructor — Kyrgyz Republic

Ms. Nasim Pilehvar — Fitness Instructor — I.R. Iran

The instructors shared their knowledge and vast expertise with the participants and encouraged them to actively engage in discussions and provide feedback on various on-pitch episodes.

The seminar concluded with a two-day course for licensed Video Assistant Referees (VAR) which allowed the participants to not only try their skills on the VAR simulator but also experience real-time scenarios and situations requiring application of the VAR.

The First Vice President of the Uzbekistan Football Association and former FIFA Referee Mr. Ravshan Irmatov, who holds the record for officiating the most FIFA World Cup matches, also addressed the participants and highlighted the importance of refereeing in making football more attractive and fair. He noted that CAFA pays serious attention to the subject of refereeing and is carrying out a number of activities in the direction of its development.

The CAFA referees seminar is part of the CAFA’s refereeing development initiatives aimed at capacity-building measures for the Match Officials in the region. The seminar is expected to improve the performance of the Referees and prepare them for the upcoming CAFA competitions in 2024