India’s first-ever academy for women referees inaugurated19 January 2017

AllIndiaFootballFederation(AIFF)launchedthecountry’sfirst-everrefereeacademyforwomeninWestMidnapore,WestBengalonMonday17January.

The academy aims to help Indian footballers interested in refereeing become world class referees and at the same time support the demand and growth of the women’s game in the country.

“This is the first-ever kind of academy exclusive for women referees in India. I am not aware if there is any similar project anywhere in Asia,” stated Col. Goutam Kar, AIFF Head of the Referees Department.

“Our aim is to continue producing more referees of Uvena’s (Fernandes) calibre and see some of them supervising World Cup matches,” he added.

Uvena Fernandes, who in 2014 was amongst the first two Indian referees to ever receive a FIFA badge, became in 2016 the first Indian woman to officiated in a FIFA U-17 World Cup final when she refereed in the final of the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.

“Many efforts have been put in place for refereeing development for men and now similar efforts are being made for the development of refereeing for women – more so in the backdrop of the development of women’s football in India, especially with the introduction of Indian Women League. We need more women referees now,” Kar explained.