MLSz abolish referee retirement age.

Péter Solymosi

The MLSz have today announced via M4 that they have finally abolished the referee retirement age. It’s about time! FIFA abolished the retirement age 3 years ago and we welcome the MLSz bringing the Federation up to date with FIFA in this regard. There is no guarantee that any referee will carry on after reaching the age of 45, it is not an automatic right to carry on. Each referee will be judged on an individual basis, once they age 45 and will need to pass the fitness test and their merit markings will need to be within the acceptable level.  The MLSz have not confirmed if the referees will also need to pass additional medical tests, the same as the FIFA referees are required to do.

Allegations have surfaced that they have only done this to prevent a “favourite” from retiring, however in our opinion this has definitely been implemented purely following a standing directive issued by FIFA to all confederations that still had a 45 year old retirement age. I personally have bought this up with the MLSz JB several times, both last season and during the current season. Well done to the MLSz in this regard.

Assuming they pass the relevant fitness tests & their merit markings are within the acceptable limits then Péter Solymosi, Zsolt Szabó (Referees – NB1), János Takács (Referee – NB2, AAR – NB1), István Iványi and Kepe Arnold (AR’s – NB1) will potentially be continuing in their roles when the season returns in the Spring break.


The MLSz statement (translated by google translate & we take no responsibility for any inaccuracy)

FIFA has abolished the international referee’s age (45), so the national federations have the right not only to send senior referees and assistants to major matches, but they also have the possibility to qualify for FIFA approval in the international framework. England is used to seeing older players in the Premier League, but other federations such as German, Italian, Dutch or, for example, Swedes have also enjoyed the FIFA rules.

In October 2016, the MLSZ Referee Committee examined the Hungarian aspect of the request and stated that in this case the quality and the performance are the only matters. In practice, this means that the institution of the upper age limit will continue to apply, provided that if a particular professional – whether it is an amateur referee, 50 years or a 45-year-old – in both theoretical and practical exams it suits and has a high average in its championship, the MLSZ Refereeing Committee will have the opportunity to continue to employ this person, primarily for the benefit of the teams. This option is not a guarantee that the referee can work, with good performance and a good average. (If an NB I referee reached the age of 45)

As a consequence, the thinking that has been wrongly or maliciously suggested in the past few days that, given the aforementioned refusal, there is an opportunity for continuation from the MLSZ because its existential situation justifies it does not correspond to reality. In fact, according to the renewed FIFA directive, it is not for the referee, but for the interest of our football and clubs to continue their high-quality activities.