Playing football will be very hard without them and many people argue about how influential they are on an outcome of a match. But until now refereeing in Australia has only be semi-professional at its highest level. This week the FFA have announced the appointment of its first three full-time A-league referees.

Chris Beath, Jarred Gillett and Ben Williams were the professionals selected to establish the three-member refereeing panel. This is a big investment as the FFA has already spent $1.2 million on refereeing last season. New investment such as this in refereeing will help the FFA of achieving their strategic goal of lifting its retention rate of grassroots referees from 64% to 90%. Although this is a far cry from seven full-time referees required to officiate every A-league fixture.

FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson said, “The breakthrough to professional referees means these match officials can prepare for their appointed matches, in a similar fashion to the players, without the added burden of juggling other work commitments.”

All three newly appointed referees have been offered a two year contract and will train regularly at the FFA’s Centre of Excellence which is located at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.