Several AFC referees are poised to feature in their maiden FIFA World Cup campaign with Ma Ning from China PR amongst those who will be looking to make Asia proud at the global extravaganza in November.
In this exclusive interview with the-AFC.com, Ma Ning shares his insights on being selected for the FIFA World Cup for the first time and talks about his preparations leading up to the showpiece.
Who is Ma Ning?
Ma Ning has been a full international referee for FIFA since 2011. He graduated from the AFC Project Future Referees programme, which was the preamble to the landmark AFC Referee Academy.
Since then, he has been a mainstay of the Chinese Super League roster and was one of the Chinese Football Association (CFA)’s pioneering batch of professional referees.
The Chinese referee is no stranger to the Continental stage having officiated the first leg of the AFC Champions League™ Final tie between Kashima Antlers and Persepolis in 2018 as well as the AFC U23 Championship China 2018™, the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020™, and the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™.
He was also entrusted to manage several encounters at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™, including as Fourth Official in the Final between Japan and Qatar at the Zayed Sports City Stadium. More recently, he was also appointed to officiate the AFC Asian Qualifiers™ – Road to Qatar, where he oversaw an impressive five matches from September 2021 to March 2022.
On the global stage, the 43-year-old was appointed to officiate at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 and will be making his debut at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.