AFC hails retiring Shield Print E-mail
Written by Asian Football Confederation   
Friday, 26 September 2008 18:45

Leading AFC officials have expressed sadness at Asian Referee of the Year Australian Mark Shield’s decision to hang up his whistle.

Shield, who scooped the AFC Referee of the Year award last year, is recognised as one of the best referees in the world. However, in a letter to FIFA earlier this month, he said he plans to retire from international duties at the end of this year.

Yousof Yaqoob Al Serkal, Chairman of the AFC Referees Committee, called Shield a role model for budding match officials.

“I received the news (of your retirement) with much sadness,” Yousof told Shield in a letter.

“You are an outstanding personality and your performances in the field of play have always been excellent.

“With your exemplary conduct, high dedication and commitment, you are a role model for the young referees to emulate.”

Shield said family and business commitments had forced him to withdraw from consideration for the 2010 FIFA World in South Africa in addition to giving up officiating in international matches altogether.

“While I still enjoy refereeing, a growing family and significant business demands mean I am not able to dedicate the time required … and perform at an optimum level,” he wrote.

AFC Director of Referees Yoshimi Ogawa said Asia would be losing a great referee.

“We are very sad because he is one of the best referees in the world,” Ogawa said. 

Shield refereed in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, the AFC Asian Cup 2007, AFC Champions League 2006 and several other top-flight competitions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2008 11:22