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Whistle blower to officiate at Champions League

Following the likes of Job Minan, Gidas Bayung and Salaiau Sosongan as former referees in the Oceania region, Maru, 38 from Kirimbit, Chambri Lakes in East Sepik Province said he will do all his best at the highest level.

“I was so excited when I saw my name on the list of referees to officiate at the OFC Champions League. This by far marks the highest ever achievements of my career in soccer refereeing,” Maru said.

This will be his biggest achievement yet after officiating at the OFC U-17 Championships in Vanuatu, OFC U-20 Championships in Fiji and then the OFC President’s Cup in New Zealand last year.

Maru will fly out of the country on April 7 to Suva, Fiji where the tournament will be staged.

Maru said his OFC Level 6 referee licenses him to officiate as the main referee in the Oceania and Asia Pacific region.

With encouragement from his former team manager Pakop Komet, the former striker with Defence Football Club took up the career in refereeing in 2003, since then he never looks back which in 2012 he receives his badge from FIFA as a FIFA referee.

Now he sits back and laughs as the role he took up just to make up the numbers, has allowed him to see places, and now makes a living out of being one of the four top licensed whistle blower in the country.

The others are Goroka-based Mairi Noni, Amos Anio from Lae and former assistant referee Hillary Ani, who just made a switch to a fully licensed referee last year.

He said FIFA has an agreement that by 45 years of age, all referees should resign and Maru said that when that happens he would assist Papua New Guinea Football Association in the development of soccer in the country in any way either as official, trainer or technical official.

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