Shamsul is first Singaporean to be AFC's director of referees
Former referee is first S'porean to be appointed AFC's director of referees
Former World Cup referee Shamsul Maidin has become the first Singaporean to be appointed as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) director of referees.
The 49-year-old took over his new role from Japanese Yoshimi Ogawa earlier this year, after previously serving as Fifa referee instructor and AFC elite referee assessor.
"I am humbled by this exciting opportunity and I am relishing the chance to deliver on the strong foundation and standards established by my predecessor," said Shamsul.
"I am very passionate about the education and development of referees in Asia and, together with the AFC member associations and stakeholders, I am confident we can continue to raise the standard of Asian referees."
Shamsul, who became a referee in 1996 and retired in 2007, enjoyed an illustrious career which saw him officiate at the 2006 World Cup - the second Singaporean to do so after George Suppiah at the 1974 edition.
He was the only non-African referee to officiate at the 2006 African Nations Cup, and won the AFC Referee of the Year twice in 2005 and 2006.
The AFC is convinced it has found the right man for the job, and wrote in a release on its website: "Shamsul's wealth of experience, not only in Asia but also globally, places him as a leading expert to maintain and enhance the high standards of refereeing in Asia.
"Having risen through the ranks of the continent, Shamsul's glittering career - both as a professional referee and an instructor - makes him a great addition and a valuable asset to the AFC and the member associations."
I am very passionate about the education and development of referees in Asia and, together with the AFC member associations and stakeholders, I am confident we can continue to raise the standard of Asian referees.
— Shamsul Maidin