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‘Encouraging that AIFF is keen to implement Projects’

Posted on : Sunday July 24, 2016

AIFF Media Team


KOCHI: FIFA Head of Referees Massimo Busacca said that it is “encouraging” to see that AIFF is keen on development of Indian Referees. Busacca was speaking at a packed Media Interaction in Kochi on Sunday (July 24, 2016) on the sidelines of the FIFA MA Refereeing Course which is being attended by all elite Referees, Assistant Referees and Referee Assessors/Instructors.


“We want to work with clear projects. It’s important to see that there are projects which the AIFF is keen to implement. That’s important.” Massimo who was adjudged the ‘Best Referee in the World’ in 2009 pronounced.


Speaking on the occasion AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das mentioned that it is an “honour” for AIFF to have Massimo “amongst us.”


“For us in All India Football Federation, Massimo’s presence is very significant,” Das said. “In the last few years, we have been working hard to develop the Referees in our Country. There have been a lot of Projects which have been introduced and we feel we have been able to achieve a lot,” he added.


“We have created Academies for Referees as we try to unearth a lot of new talent from all over the Country. But there’s still a long way to go.”


Massimo who has officiated in two successive World Cups (2006 and 2010), Euro 2008, 2009 Champions League Final, 2007 UEFA Cup Final, 42 Champions League matches and 45 UEFA Cup matches and lot many other matches in top International flight, admitted that he had “never seen” so many Media persons gathering to listen to him.


“Even when I was in the middle of 80000 people with the entire World watching, I never had so many journalists patiently waiting to hear from me,” he smiled. “It only substantiates the fact that the interest for the game in this Country is huge and with a huge potential,” he stressed.


This is the first time ever that a FIFA Head of Referees has ever visited India.


“The U-17 World Cup is due in India next year. It would be very good occasion to invite as many as top Indian Referees and Assistant Referees to oversee our activities,” Busacca said. “It will be a huge learning process for them.”


Referring to a question Massimo opined that it is “difficult to make a comparison” between Indian Referees with their European counterparts.


“There’s quality in every part of the World. You have to give opportunity to develop and compete. We need to respect what they are doing. The practical sessions at the weekends are of utmost importance. Every weekend they need to practice,” he declared. “The most important part is that there is an improvement.”


“To improve, one needs to eat and sleep Football,” he felt. “The more we are able to eat Football more will it help us understand and prepare for the game. Besides, you need to have to have your own personality and skills. Everyone needs to be able to make the right interpretation of the law. A Referee needs to be intelligent, trust his feelings, knowledge and communication. That helps us to get results and get right decisions,” Massimo stated.


“As a Referee you need to stay aware of the formations of the Teams. It helps you. You need to be intelligent,” he said. “If a Team is playing with 3 defenders, a Referee needs to stay aware of their strategy. If a Team prefers to play counter-attacks the Referee needs to position him likewise,” he elaborated it further.


“A Referee always needs to understand the Players. But it’s never the other way round.”


Massimo later also addressed a gathering of 107 participants, all of whom have assembled for the ongoing FIFA MA Referees Course which kicked-off on July 22 and will continue till July 29.


He also had a meeting with the AIFF Referee’s Committee Meeting which was slated for the day.