A key workshop for the development of muaythai in the Arab region took place when referees from eight countries attended training with senior IFMA referees in Abu Dhabi. Referees are the third person in the ring and their understanding of fair play, clean sport and the rules of muaythai are crucial to a successful event.

The UAE Muaythai Federation under the presidency of H.E. Abdullah Saeed Amer Al Neyadi welcomed participants from seven other countries to the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi for the three-day course.

The course was led by Gunter Plank (Austria) and Abby Nelson (Australia), both experienced referees at top-level IFMA events including world championship finals. They worked in partnership with Omar   Almarzooqi, head referee for the UAE federation. The 72 participants included nine women training to work in the ring; the encouragement of female referees is a central aim for the IFMA Technical Committee.

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