—- The Asian Football Confederation has confirmed that Ma Ning from China PR will take charge of the Saturday’s Asian Cup Final at Lusail.

Ma will become the first match official from China to oversee an Asian Cup™ Final when he blows the whistle at 6pm to kick off the showdown between Jordan and Qatar in the 18th edition of Asia’s crown jewel.

This will be Ma’s fourth assignment at Qatar 2023, having refereed the Group E fixture between Korea Republic and Bahrain, the Round of 16 match between Qatar and Palestine, and the Quarter-final between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Japan. It will be his fifth AFC Asian Cup™ match, after his debut at the 2019 edition.

Having started his refereeing journey in college, Ma became a national referee a few years after graduating in 2003 and began to officiate in the Chinese Super League in 2010 before becoming a FIFA referee in 2011.

He has refereed 37 matches at the AFC Champions League™, including the second leg of the 2022 Final between Urawa Red Diamonds and Al Hilal SFC, having also officiated at the AFC Cup™AFC U23 Asian Cup™ and FIFA U17 World Cup Poland 2019.

The Liaoning native featured at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as a fourth official in six matches – marking the first appearance of China PR officials at a FIFA World Cup in 20 years.

In the Final, Ma will be well supported by assistant referees Zhou Fei and Zhang Cheng, both from China PR, while Uzbekistan duo Tantashev Ilgiz and Tsapenko Andrey are the fourth official and reserve assistant referee respectively. China PR’s Fu Ming is the Video Assistant Referee and will be assisted by Japan’s Iida Jumpei.

Follow the-AFC.com for all the latest news of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™!