Foreign Refs aiming to help Japanese Colleagues

Posted By on jul 22, 2000 |

Source: The Japan Times

International referees Jose Maria Garcia-Aranda Encinar and An Yan Lim Kee Chong have brought their experience to Japanese soccer this summer in order to try and help the standard of Japanese referees and the J. League.

“I’d like to show my experience and help the young referees in Japan,” Spaniard Garcia-Aranda Encinar said in a joint press conference with Mauritian Lim Kee Chong on Tuesday in Tokyo.

Garcia-Aranda Encinar officiated in the opening match of the World Cup in France in 1998 and has taken part in 60 international matches, including Euro 2000 and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Lim Kee Chong is here for his second stay since 1996 and has added a new role as a referee inspector to his resume. The 40-year-old Mauritian has served in some 90 matches, including World Cups in 1994 and 1998 and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The two referees are expected to officiate in J. League matches until Aug. 20.

Asked about their impressions of J. League players, Garcia-Aranda Encinar replied: “Japanese players are polite and have a positive attitude.”

Lim Kee Chong commented: “Japanese players play a high-standard passing game. I think soccer will be rooted more in Japan from now on.”

Garcia-Aranda Encinar and Lim Kee Chong both said diving was the most persistent problem for referees at the moment.

“It seems the whole world has been infected with a virus, which jumps at your legs in the box,” said Garcia-Aranda Encinar. Lim Kee Chong added: “Some teams seem to practice how to do that to trap referees. We’ve got to detect that.”

Both referees suggested that the reward for refereeing does not always match the effort they put in. Lim Kee Chong said he had oranges thrown at him by fans in Algeria after denying what it could have been an equalizer for the host during a 1994 World Cup qualifier.

“Life as a referee is not always wonderful. Sometimes you won’t be accepted by the public even though you made the right decisions in the game,” Lim Kee Chong said. “But I don’t think my choice of becoming a ref was wrong.”

Garcia-Aranda Encinar said, “I was born to be a referee and I don’t think I had any other choice. My father was a Spanish league referee and I learned many things from him.

“I think refereeing is a kind of art. If you can control the game well, the game will become a kind of art with each game having a different taste and story, like a Picasso painting.”