“This is a real shock to us, who have for the first time been certified by FIFA,” Thu told Tuoi Tre.
“We are to blame for not being adequately prepared, both mentally and physically.”
On March 30 Thu and four referee assistants, including Pham Manh Long, and Nguyen Anh Toan (male), and Ha Thi Phuong, and Truong Thi Le Trinh (female) could not make it past the stamina test as part of the training course provided by AFC to newly-certified referees.
In the test they had to run 150-meters 20 times within 30 seconds each round, and walk 50 meters 20 times within 35 seconds.
Their failure was considered a huge shock to the local referee world, especially at a time when the needle of criticism is pointing straight at them, given an alleged series of mistakes they have made in the V-League.
It has also left the public wondering how the FIFA referees could fail a physical strength test, which they had earlier passed when the test was held in Vietnam.
“Actually there is a little difference between the two tests,” said Thu, in a talk with Tuoi Tre to clarify their failures.
Thu said the break between the running turns in AFC’s test was shorter than the domestic one.
For instance, the candidates were only allowed to take a 35-second break after taking the 20x30m walking test, he said.
“As for the 6x40m running, we had to finish at less than 6’’2, while the time used to be 6’’4,” added Thu.
“Though the difference is not great, it surprised us a little, and thus affected our mentality.”
The referee expressed his concern over whether or not he can take a retest, or if he will lose the FIFA certification following the test failure.
“We feel disappointed, but this is a precious lesson.”
The test included 32 candidates from Southeast Asian countries, and two from Australia and the Maldives.
Some referees from Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Brunei, and Malaysia also failed.
Duong Vu Lam, head of the VFF referee department, said AFC will still assign Thu and his four colleagues to officiate at some international events, if they can pass another test.
In another development, AFC has recently informed the referee department that three former Vietnamese FIFA referees, Pham Chu Thien, Luong The Tai, and Huynh Thi Phung Tien, have been officially recognized as AFC referee lecturers.
The three, all based in Ho Chi Minh City, are now qualified to teach referees in Vietnam and other neighboring countries, AFC said.