Graduate referee Taqi goes for Qatar World Cup

THERE will be a graduate Singaporean in the heartbeat of Qatar’s World Cup, with Muhammad Taqi Aljaafari Jahari, making his debut as a VAR (video assistant referee).

He will be one of 24 VARs and the only man-in-black from Asean, which is a major feather in his cap.  Reaching this pinnacle of the World Cup, Taqi, who holds a Bachelor of Science (Upper second-class honours), is thrilled he’s following the footsteps of the late George Suppiah, the first Asian to referee at the 1974 Finals in the-then West Germany. 

Personally, I know Taqi, the S-League Referee Of The Year in  2014 and AFF (Asean Football Federation) Referee Of The Year in 2017, worked very hard for this “dream come true” as he describes it. 

Taqi’s journey began when he was just 16. As a youngster, he honed his football skills at the void deck with friends. But he eventually joined the hockey team as there was no football co-curricular activity offered in his school.

Normally at 19 years, teenagers aspire to make your debut for your national team, or for the age group team as a football player.