With the Indian footballing cosmology blooming and spiraling upwards with time, the onus is on the Referees to showcase ‘the beautiful game’ by maintaining their firm grip on the 90 minute stage, enabling football to be played in its purest and exquisite form, whilst adhering with Fair Play.
To catalyst this evolution of Referees, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has conducted numerous Referees Development Courses, the latest being the FIFA MA Asst. Referees Course, which commenced yesterday (June 23, 2015) at Aero City, New Delhi. The course is being attended by 35 Assistant Referees.
In an exclusive interview with AIFF Media, Farkhad Abdullaev from Uzbekistan, the Instructor of the above mentioned course, also the Referee Development Officer of South East Asia, spoke at length about the significance of such Courses, development of Indian Referees, future of Refereeing in India and much more.
What does the FIFA Courses offer to a Referee?
FIFA Courses offer a Referee the latest guidelines, the latest technological advancements and the latest technicalities. For example in this course (FIFA MA Asst. Referee Course) we will train the participants in the latest techniques which were implemented in World Cup 2014 Brazil and the Asian Cup 2014 Australia. The Courses offer a chance for the Referees to evolve and be in tune with the World Refereeing scenario.
How has been the development of Referees in India?
The development of the Referees has been on a gradual rise and Courses such as this only boost it further. India is the sole exception where FIFA is conducting Courses for Referees, Assistant Referees and Women’s Referees. This is a rare privilege which India enjoys given its vastness. In that sense, Indian Referees are fortunate enough and the results would be visible in due course.
What does the future hold for Refereeing?
The future looks good for Indian Referees and with the AIFF taking many initiatives it is bound to bloom. The results will be evident in given time and the progress has been commendable so far. But going forward, we need more elite Referees from India.
In comparison to Elite Referees from other Countries, where do Indian Referees stand?
Indian Referees are technically very good but comparing an evolving species with an evolved one makes little sense. However, the Refereeing bar has been set very high in the World and if Indian Referees are to compete, they need to be courageous.
What advice would you give to an aspiring Referee?
You need to love the game with all your heart. Follow the game, live the game and understand the game to your fullest. There are always tutors who will help you in this quest by supporting and guiding you. But it’s up to you to set a high bar for yourself. Believe in your abilities and the sky is the limit.
(Interview & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)