Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the Japan Football Association (JFA) will continue the referee exchange between the Hyundai A-League and J-League later this season as part of FFA’s strategic plan to lift the standard of match officials.
Following on frame last year’s inaugural referee exchange program between the FFA and JFA, two of Japan’s top referees, Yudai Yamamoto and Kazuyoshi Enomoto, will referee two Hyundai A-League matches each.
Yamamoto, a professional FIFA Referee who was recently in Australia as a match official for the AFC Asian Cup, will referee the Hyundai A-League Round 20 match between Brisbane Roar FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers FC on Sunday 8 March and the Round 21 match between Adelaide United and the Central Coast Mariners on Thursday 12 March.
Enomoto, a Class 1 referee in the J-League, will referee the Hyundai A-League Round 23 match between the Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United on 29 March and the Round 24 match between Brisbane Roar FC and the Central Coast Mariners on Thursday 2 April.
As part of the reciprocal agreement, two Australian referees, Jarred Gillett and Chris Beath, will referee two J-League matches each between 27 April and 3 May.
In addition to the exchange program in the respective domestic competitions a team of Australian match officials made up of the AFC Asian Cup trio of Ben Williams, Matthew Cream and Peter Cetrangolo and Strebre Delovski will officiate at the Kirin Cup in Japan in March, taking charge of Japan v Tunisia (27/3) and Japan v Uzbekistan (31/3).
FFA Director of Referees, Ben Wilson believes these exchanges provide significant development opportunities for Australian and Japanese referees and enhance the strong relationship between the JFA and FFA.
“The exchange program is designed to help referees from both countries gain valuable international experience as well as expose players in the Hyundai A-League and J-League to different styles of officiating,” said Wilson
“As part of our referee’s strategic plan, one of the important aspects is to offer our referees meaningful international experience which will enable them to become better referees.
“This will be the first time that Australian referees have been invited to officiate in the J-League which will provide us with an excellent opportunity to showcase our referees in another top quality domestic league,“ concluded Wilson.
Are you inspired to become a referee? Make sure you register to Ref Football in 2015 - visit www.myfootballclub.com.au to register.