Unique Academy for Women Referees

Unique Academy for Women Referees in Bengal

21.01.2017 : A few days back, All India Football Federation launched India’s first-ever Referee’s Academy for Women Referees in Gopiballavpur in West Midnapore, West Bengal. The Academy which was inaugurated by Mr. Churamani Mahato,Minister of Backwards class welfare, Government of West Bengal, aims to “develop Indian women footballers interested in refereeing to top world class referees.”

Colonel (retd) Goutam Kar, Head of Referees Department, AIFF admitted it was “a dream come true.” “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,” he stated. “Our aim is to continue producing more referees of Uvena’s (Fernandes) calibre and
Unique Academy for Women Referees
see some of them supervising World Cup matches,” he added. Uvena is the first Indian Woman Assistant Referee to have officiated in a FIFA U-17 World Cup final match when she officiated in the final of the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.

Col. Kar added: “A lot of efforts have been put in place for refereeing development for men and now similar efforts are being made for Women referees development -- more so in the backdrop of the development of women’s football in India, especially with the introduction of Indian Women League. We require more women referees now.”

The inaugural batch consists of 28 bright young girls out of which 23 belong to the local tribal community. In spite of limited resources and other limitations, the girls seem determined to succeed and achieve.