2017 ends on a high for Indian Referees as 16 Indian Referees and Assistant Referees have been approved by the FIFA Referees Committee in the FIFA Panel to officiate in international matches in 2018. The list includes seven referees inclusive of one Women Referee and nine Assistant Referees inclusive of two Women Assistant Referees.
“There are some new faces in the panel. We expect the FIFA Panel Referees to further work hard and perform well at the highest level to make the country proud. AIFF will extend them every help to enable them to grow even further,” said Col. Goutam Kar (retd.), Director of Referees, All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“Indian Referees have been outstanding in international competitions which includes AFC competitions ranging from World Cup Qualifiers, AFC Champions League matches, AFC Cup matches and even AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 qualification matches,” he stated.
“The most notable feature stays the rise of Women Referees in the FIFA Panel and it highlights our endeavours to improve the standard of refereeing in our country,” he added. “It highlights that more and more Women are keen on taking up refereeing as a profession in India and this will only further encourage others girls to take it up,” he felt.
Significantly, a year back in 2016, Uvena Fernandes became the first Indian Woman Assistant Referee ever to officiate in a FIFA World Cup final when she officiated in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 final between Japan and DPR Korea.
The list of the 16 approved officials follows below:
Pranjal Banerjee, Rowan Arumughan, Srikrishna Ramaswamy, Tejas Nagvenkar, Venkatesh Ramachandran, Muringothumalil Bhaskaran Santosh Kumar
Ranjita Devi Tekcham
ASSISTANT REFEREES (MEN)
Tony Joseph Luis, Asit Kumar Sarkar, Kennedy Sapam, Arun Pillai, Samar Pal, Antony Abraham, Sumanta Dutta
ASSISTANT REFEREES (WOMEN)
Uvena Fernandes, Riiohlang Dhar