With the expansion of AFC Asian Cup from 16 to 24 teams, a record 60 match officials – comprising 30 referees and assistant referees each have been appointed to the Asia’s most prestigious tournament.
The largest-ever contingent, which will also be supported by four reserve officials, will see a diverse range of nationalities, with 19 Member Associations represented across the five AFC zones.
The Continent’s best referees and assistant referees were selected based on their skill, technical knowledge, management competence and physical fitness. They will be expected to perform various roles including Additional Assistant Referees, Reserve Assistant Referees as well as Video Assistant Referees (VAR), which will come into force from the quarter-final stage.
As part of the main cast, the AFC also appointed a guest trio from Concacaf, led by FIFA World Cup Russia referee Cesar Arturo Ramos from Mexico, as part of the existing exchange programme between the two Confederations with an Asian trio set to feature in the Concacaf's Gold Cup later this year.