SA's Matthew Cream selected to officiate in 2019 AFC Asian Cup

Football Federation SA is delighted to announce that one of its referees has been selected as a match official for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Matthew Cream is one of four officials from Australia heading to the United Arab Emirates today for the 17th edition of Asia's premier international tournament. He joins fellow Assistant Referee Anton Shchetinin, along with referees Chris Beath and Peter Green.

Matthew's trial process for selection for the 2019 Asian Cup has included AFC-run seminars over the past four years, as well as performances domestically and internationally.

We caught up with Matthew before he boarded his flight to UAE.

Cream, 43, is looking forward to the experience and is thankful for all the support he has received. 

It's an honour and a privilege to be appointed to the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the UAE, the pinnacle of football in our region and being recognised for the hard work and performances in the past. 

I appreciate everyone's help over the years assisting me to achieve this, and I will be going out there to do my best for the benefit of the game as a whole and to enjoy the experience."

Matthew Cream #2
Matthew Cream officiating an Adelaide United match in 2016 (Photo: 80kms)

Matthew will join his three Australian compatriots, as well as match officials from 18 other nations, for a week-long preparation course in Abu Dhabi in late December, with the 2019 edition the first Asian Cup that will feature VAR from the quarter-final stage onwards.

The tournament begins on 5 January with UAE v Bahrain, concluding with the Final on 1 February in Abu Dhabi.

On behalf of Football Federation SA, we wish the best of luck to Matthew and enjoy what will be an incredible experience.

The announcement coincides with FFSA’s commitment to investing $500,000 in referee development during the next three years, which will include:

  • Employment of two full-time staff;
  • Payment of honorariums to support staff to coach and train referees;
  • Supply of match officials on field attire (elite referees)
  • Implementation of the Referee Retention Strategy that will include;

- Mentoring Program
- Match Commissioners
- Promotional Material
- Training and Education of club officials

Football Federation SA CEO Michael Carter says

“Football Federation SA is extremely committed to continuing to develop and produce high-quality referees like Matthew. This investment will see more referees like Matthew come through our tailored pathway system to help grow our game in South Australia. 

We wish Matthew and his the team all the best in the UAE in January.”

Matthew Cream
Cover: Matthew Cream before kick off at Adelaide Oval before an Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory match in 2014 (Photo: 80kms)