Monika Jana and Rubadevi Gurusamy selected in FIFA Panel of Referees
Posted on : Thursday January 21, 2016
By Joseph Solomon,
AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: It is no secret that Women’s Football is on an upward surge in India, and whilst the All India Football Federation has launched the FIFA ‘Live Your Goals’ campaign to extend the outreach of Women’s Football, encapsulating the entire nation in the ‘beautiful game’. It was perhaps time, that Women’s Referees too caught up with this trend of breaking stereotypes in living their ‘goals’, indicating an exhaustive rise of Women’s Football and Sports in general in India.
In what is a lift for Women’s Football in India, two Referees, Monika Jana and Rubadevi Gurusamy, after being nominated by the AIFF, have been selected in the FIFA Panel of Referee, catering a major boost to Women’s empowerment and Women’s referee across India. Both, Monika Jana and Rubadevi Gurusamy, have officiated in State level, National level and International level Tournaments throughout their Refereeing careers.
Talking exclusively to www.the-aiff.com, Monika Jana explains the gravity of her selection with a gleeful tone. “Getting selected in the FIFA Panel is a dream come true and this means the World to me, as I had worked hard to achieve this goal”
“I thank the AIFF for supporting me through thick and thin, and nominating me to the FIFA Panel. I am more determined than ever to make my stamp in Football through Refereeing”, she says in one breath.
Complementing Monika, Rubadevi Gurusamy, a former Player who played for her local club, opined, “I am on cloud nine ever since I found out that I had made it into the FIFA Panel of Referees. There are emotions which you cannot put in words and this is one of them”
Asked wether her inclusion would pave a way for the rise of Women’s Referees in India, Rubadevi said, “Women’s Refereeing and Women’s Football in India is already on a rise. The girls are very optimistic about their chances when it comes to Football and that is a heartening sight to see”
Meanwhile, Monika Jana quips that, “Women’s Refereeing is breaking stereotypes about girls in India, enabling the populace to change their mindsets when it comes to Refereeing and Women’s Football in general”
You inquire wether the trendsetter Maria Rebello, the first Woman Referee to officiate in an I-League fixture, inspired the duo. Both spring up and unanimously say ‘Yes!’
“She has been my role model always and she has inspired me to be a better Referee in my Refereeing career”, Monika stated.
“Maria (Rebello) has been a leading light for Women’s Refereeing in India and she has certainly motivated us to follow in her footsteps”, Rubadevi informed.
“Because of people like her, girls can come out of the closet and follow their passion”, Rubadevi adds.
Although the onus remains on the girls to ‘live their goals’, the AIFF, through various Women’s only Refereeing Courses, have helped Women’s Referees across India, to not only evolve in the classrooms but in the field too by appointing them in various AIFF organized Tournaments.
“The AIFF has always seen Women’s Referees at par with the Men’s and that is why it has and will continue to extend its support for Women’s Referees across India”, informed Col (Retd.) Goutam Kar, Head of Referees Department AIFF.
“There is a major shift in inertia from the wee days of Women’s Refereeing in India and it is a pleasant sight to see so many young girls indulge in Refereeing”
“Women’s Referees like Monika (Jana)and Rubadevi (Gurusamy) not only inspire young girls to live their dreams, but act as beacons of hope and accomplishment”, Kar stated