16 INDIAN MATCH OFFICIALS GET LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY BEFORE FIFA U17 WORLD CUP
Posted on : Sunday October 01, 2017
AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: Prior to kick-start the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, the pinnacle body of World Football has given a 'first of its kind' opportunity to the 16 Indian match officials. The 16 AIFF match officials comprising of 8 referees and 8 asst. referees are given a lifetime opportunity to train with the 77 enlisted FIFA officials who will be in charge during the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"It's a lifetime opportunity for the Indian match officials who are getting a massive chance to learn the nuances of officiating a match of the highest level", Col. Goutam Kar (retd), Director Referees, AIFF said.
"It's the first of its kind of initiative by FIFA to include the host nation's officials to boost their skills while learning from ones who are adjudged to be the best in the business", Col. Kar added.
The training program has started at the SAI Ground in Kolkata yesterday (September 30, 2017) and it will continue until October 5, 2017, before the biennial tournament kicks off on October 6, 2017.
Col Kar mentioned, "Right from the classroom sessions, the AIFF referees are taking part in each of the video sessions, technical interactions and field training. It's truly an enormous learning opportunity for our 16 officials from the various sessions whichever they’re attending.”
Meanwhile, this is going to be the first instance when female referees will also be found to be officiating in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Seven female assistant referees, across the world (one from each continent), have been chosen by FIFA along with the 70 male officials to officiate the 52 matches in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, which is slated to wrap up until October 28, 2017.
"Obviously, it's a great opportunity for us to learn the minute details of refereeing from this bunch of officials and we'll try to grasp as much as we can over the next 7 days", Pranjal Banerjee, who is touted to be one of the promising Asian Referee, commented.
Pranjal Banerjee is one of the 16 Indian match officials who are selected for this unique training regime.
The ace Indian referee, who won the AIFF Referee of 2016 award, went on to thank AIFF for arranging the training camp which would benefit them in the future.
"We are really thankful to the AIFF for handing us with the opportunity and it'll definitely be very much beneficial for us in the long run", Banerjee said.
Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF praised FIFA wholeheartedly for their effort to develop the Indian referees prior to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"On the behalf of AIFF, I would like to thank FIFA for this initiative and giving our match-officials an opportunity to enhance the skills. It'll definitely prove to be very much worthwhile for them in the coming future. FIFA has always been tremendously helpful to us in terms of nurturing the referees and I strongly believe that, in the future, it'll pave the path for more Indian match officials to attain the next level in terms of officiating at the highest level", Mr. Das stated.