AFC president hails Iran’s Rio 2016 referees

TEHRAN, Aug. 23 (MNA) – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, in a message, has praised the Asian match official at Rio Olympics and, in particular, Iranian football referees.

In his congratulatory message, Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa commended referee Alireza Faghani and his assistants Reza Sokhandan and Mohammadreza Mansouri from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran’s Faghani made history by becoming the first Asian referee to be in charge of the men's Olympic football final - in which the hosts Brazil beat Germany in a penalty shoot-out. Faghani was also the referee of last year's FIFA Club World Cup final.

As quoted by the AFC’s official website, Shaikh Salman has personally written to Faghani and his colleagues from the Islamic Republic of Iran to congratulate them on their historic achievement at the Rio Olympics.

“Your appointment was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to your career; It was well deserved and you represented Asia wonderfully well,’ the AFC President wrote.

Shaikh Salman said; “in the AFC's Vision and Mission there was a clear objective for Asia to improve performances on the world stage. This applied not only to players and teams but also referees and it is a great testimony to the refereeing standards on the continent that Alireza Faghani was appointed to the final.”

“I am sure one day that we will have an Asian referee in a FIFA World Cup final and that will be a tribute to the legacy of these referees and also to all those working so hard to raise the standards of match officials,” he continued.

AFC president also noted “on behalf of the AFC, I congratulate all those officials who worked so hard to reach the Olympic Games and, again, I praise them for the way that they have represented their colleagues in Asia in such an outstanding manner.”

Sheikh Salman’s message was delivered to the three Iranian referees by President of Iran Football Federation (IFF) Mehdi Taj.

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