Football Federation Australia (FFA) can today confirm that Ben Wilson has resigned from his role as FFA Director of Referees to pursue a new opportunity outside of football in Canberra.
Over his 7 years as the FFA Director of Referees, Wilson has been instrumental in implementing many refereeing initiatives within the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and football in Australia. This includes the employment of full-time referees in the Hyundai A-League, being the first domestic football competition in the world to implement Video Assistant Referees (VAR), working with IFAB to allow referees to issues yellow and red cards to team officials to improve respect towards match officials and the mentoring of many young referees who have gone on to be appointed for Hyundai A-League & Westfield W-League panels as well as major FIFA and AFC tournaments.
Before becoming the FFA Director of Referees, Wilson had a long and successful history as one of Australia’s top match officials. He began officiating at the age of 15 and his first professional match came as a National Soccer League (NSL) Assistant Referee in 1996.
A FIFA Assistant Referee from 2000 to 2011, Wilson officiated in over 200 NSL and Hyundai A-League matches, including five Hyundai A-League Grand Finals as well as FIFA & AFC tournaments including the 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2011 AFC Asian Cup and 2009 AFC Champions League Final.
FFA Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, paid tribute to Wilson for his exemplary service to the sport during his tenure and wished him well for the next chapter of his professional life.
“Ben was an outstanding match official in his day and is an equally outstanding Director of Referees,” said O’Rourke.
“Ben’s contribution to the development of referees in Australia during his time at FFA has been immense.
“There is much that Ben has done behind the scenes that has had a positive impact on the game and we are thankful for his valuable contribution.
“He is very well respected within the football community and was also willing to discuss contentious issues with coaches or administrators without fear or favour.
“We are sad to see Ben leave, but we understand his reasons and wish him and his family all the best for his new career move closer to home.”
Wilson explained it was a very tough decision but is excited about his new career outside of football.
“Football has always been a major part of my life and I am proud to have achieved much within the game as a match official and as the FFA Director of Referees,” said Wilson.
“I believe that after seven years in the role the time is right for me to take on a new challenge and for somebody else to have the chance to lead Australia’s referees.”
“I would like to acknowledge the support of the Referees Committee as well as the referees, referee coaches and referee staff and I wish them well in the season ahead,” concluded Wilson.
Wilson will finish up with FFA at the end of August.
FFA will now commence the process to recruit a new Director of Referees.