Referee Exchange Programme Report: The referee gained valuable experience in the more competitive Qatar Stars League environment
28 November 2023
For the first time, a referee from Japan, Mr. TANIMOTO Ryo, participated in the referee exchange programme in Qatar.
The referee enjoyed the valuable opportunity to learn the elements necessary for refereeing in a tougher environment through refereeing experience in the top league in Qatar and training and analysis sessions with Qatari referees.
TANIMOTO Ryo, Referee
I had the opportunity to go to Qatar as part of an exchange programme between Qatar FA and Japan FA. It was my first experience to take part in the programme, and I embarked on the journey with a mix of anxiety and excitement. However, the QFA officials and local referees were incredibly welcoming and made my dispatch period very fulfilling.
During my time in Qatar, I officiated three matches in the Qatar Stars League. On non-match days, I participated in fitness training sessions with local referees three times a week. I also attended regular analysis sessions, where I had the opportunity to learn about the refereeing standards required in Qatar. Each league match I officiated was filled with a unique and constant tension, unlike anything I had experienced before, from the kick-off till the final whistle. The different landscape compared to the J-League was totally refreshing and eye-opening to me.
Experiencing a different environment and league firsthand has been a valuable asset to me. I hope to leverage this experience in my future career as a referee.
The exchange programme is to provide refereeing experience and training opportunities in different cultures and match environments, with the aim of improving refereeing in the future and fostering friendly relations between the two countries.
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