Teacher Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh, according to the-afc.com, is one of four referees to be appointed for the South Africa edition in June-July. Malaysia's previous representatives were assistant referees the late Halim Abdul Hamid in France'98 and Mat Lazim Awang Hamad in South Korea-Japan 2002.
Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh
Zainal Abidin Abu Bakar
Olympian hockey keeper-turned-referee T. Nadarajah
Datuk George Joseph once shared the pitch with Maradona
Subkhiddin's appointment is indeed a timely tribute to his predecessors, notably the late Mohd Nazri Abdullah, who passed away exactly a year and three days ago. Nazri came close to be given the honour but missed out by a whisker in the 90s. Read here and here.
Our referees over the decades have done the country proud, namely Tan Sri Zain Hashim, Datuk George Joseph, T. Nadarajah, S. Kathiravale, Mohd Noor Saud, Patrick Nice, Koh Guan Kiat, Othman Omar, Othman Kamaluddin, Steven Ovinis and Nik Ahmad Yaakub to name a few, without getting the opportunity to officiate at the most prestigious sporting extravaganza. Subkhiddin has earned the distinction at the age of 43 and four months, one year shy of the FIFA age limit. But I wonder who next after the teacher from Penang? This question must be posed to ex-referee, Kol Kamaruddin Sakhari.
The rest of the Asian team, as reported by the-afc.com, are: 1. Referee: Khalil Al Ghamdi (KSA) Assistant Referee 1: Hassan Kamranifar (Irn) Assistant Referee 2: Saleh Mohamed Al Marzouqi (UAE)
2.Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzb) Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Ilyasov (Uzb) Assistant Referee 2: Bahadyr Kochkarov (Kgz)
3. Referee: Mohd Salleh Subkhiddin (Mas) Assistant Referee 1: Yuxin Mu (Chn) Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey Goh Gek Pheng (Sin)
4.Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Jpn) Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (Jpn) Assistant Referee 2: Hae Sang Jeong (Kor)
The FIFA Referees Committee met on Friday to announce the appointments. A total of 30 referees representing 28 different countries will be in action for the world showcase of football.
The group of 30 trios of referees selected will participate in a training seminar next month.
In May, a final assessment will be conducted and a decision made regarding the acting and support referees prior to the first match appointments being made for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.