The Men Who Will Take Charge in the Asia Cup Final between Jordan and Qatar. The 2024 AFC Asian Cup final between Jordan and Qatar at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah promises to be a thriller. At stake is continental glory and a chance to represent Asia at the 2024 Confederations Cup. Naturally, expectations are high from the officials tasked with refereeing this monumental clash. Let’s take a closer look at the men who will take charge in the Asia Cup final.
Who Will Officiate Jordan vs Qatar – Referee Names for AFC Asian Cup Finals 2024
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Center of Attention – Referee Ma Ning
Leading the pack will be 39-year old Chinese referee Ma Ning. An international referee since 2009, Ning boasts plenty of experience having officiated at the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well as in Champions League and international matches. Known for letting the game flow, Ning will be the central figure under the spotlight come final day. His ability to curtail gamesmanship and command respect from the players will be vital.
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The Men Running the Lines
Assisting Ma Ning on the sidelines will be his countrymen. Zhou Fei, 34, and Zhang Cheng, 36, have built a strong understanding with the lead referee through their years working Chinese Super League games. Their fitness and positional sense will be tested as they police tight offside lines and keep up with counterattacks. The fourth official keeping tabs on substitutions andadded time will be Uzbekistan’s Ilgiz Tantashev.
VAR and Technology
This Asia Cup has also trialled VAR technology for the first time. While controversial at times, VAR will feature in the final with Chinese referee Fu Ming serving as the video assistant referee. He’ll work in tandem with Japanese assistant VAR Jumpei Iida to spot potential clear errors in judgments made by the on-field referees regarding goals, penalties, red cards and mistaken identity. Their behind-the-scenes work could directly impact the result.
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The Man Assessing the Referees’ Performances
Finally, serving as the AFC’s referee assessor for the final will be Kuwait’s Saad Al Fadhli. The former FIFA assistant referee played an instrumental role in implementing VAR technology in Asia. Al-Fadhli will rate the on-field referees based on factors like discipline control, accuracy of decisions and teamwork with VAR officials. His verdict will weigh heavily in determining future appointments for Ma Ning and his team.
Officiating such a heavyweight final is an immense honor and responsibility. Ma Ning and his team will have the hopes of over a billion fans resting on their shoulders come February 24. Their performances could directly influence proceedings as two Asian heavyweights battle for continental glory. Yet, for Al Fadhli and the AFC, the final also serves as an ideal test event for VAR technology. The refereeing team’s ability to leverage tech and stay alert over the full 90 minutes plus added time will be central to an orderly conclusion to this Asia Cup campaign.