Jakarta. The Indonesian Football Association, or PSSI, is going to hire referees from abroad to upgrade the quality of refereeing in its top-tier league Liga 1.
According to former FIFA head of refereeing George Cumming, the quality of Liga 1 referees needs to be improved, which has triggered the PSSI to search for them overseas.
Three referees from Australia — Evans Shaun Robert, Brown Wilson Kenneth, Lakrindis George — and three from Kyrgyzstan — Rysbek Sherkerbekov, Artem Skopintsev, Eldiiar Salybaevhave landed in Indonesia on Wednesday (02/08). They will oversee Liga 1 matches until Aug. 15.
There will be three periods with foreign referees before the league ends in November.
"We intend to have foreign referees who hold FIFA licenses. In the first period, they come from Kyrgyzstan and Australia, and will be on duty until Aug. 15. The second period is on Aug. 16-28, and the third will end on Sept. 11. In each period, the referees will come from different countries," PSSI secretary general Ratu Tisha Destria said on Wednesday.
The PSSI expects that the foreign referees' presence will improve the understanding of technicalities among local referees and will enhance the quality of the league.
Liga 1 has reached the half-season, with each out of its 18 clubs having played 17 matches. Madura United tops the table, followed by Bali United.
"This program won't stop here. Later, we want to organize an exchange program for [our] referees," Tisha said.