AIFF Plans to Have 50 Professional Referees on Full-time Basis

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As part of its restructuring plans, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) intends to have 50 professional referees on full-time basis, the national sports body’s president Kalyan Chaubey said on Monday.

The AIFF referees committee meeting was held at the Football House here and was chaired by former FIFA referee Michael Andrews.

In his message to the committee, Chaubey spoke about his plans to increase the number of professional referees in order to help them focus on their craft.

“We will be making a number of reforms, and restructuring the way we operate in terms of refereeing,” said Chaubey.

“Overall, we intend to go for a disruptive strategy, because if we keep doing what we were doing, we will end up with the same results. We want to see more of our referees officiating in big international matches, making India proud.

“The strategic roadmap is currently being worked on, and refereeing development is a big part of that. We are going to set targets for every year, month, and week. The approach, I am sure, will eventually bear fruits in the future.”

The referees committee deliberated on the elite referees development programme which will be a joint-venture between AIFF and its marketing partners Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL).

Chief refereeing officer Trevor Kettle spoke about the proposed five-year plan on several issues like transition to professional refereeing, state engagement in referee development, and introduction of technology in the Indian refereeing system.

The committee has agreed in principle about the project and has decided to review the existing policy and prepare a new one as per the requirements before taking up with the AIFF management for successful implementation.

The committee felt that anybody operating on a dual role could be a hindrance towards delivering their best in terms of match operations.

It was recommended that the referees, who are inactive at the moment, for some reason or the other, be requested to activate themselves through the online portal, RASI by December 31, 2022.

The committee also recommended the appointment of a state referees officer and a referee assessors’ manager.

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