FIFA-AIFF to conduct six courses for Indian referees

FIFA’s Head of Referees Massimo Busacca along with FIFA’s Technical Referee Instructor and UEFA Referee Observer Steve Bennett will interact with the referees in Kochi.

Massimo Busacca won the best referee in the world award in 2009.   -  Getty Images

In a move which is expected to provide a huge boost to football refereeing in India, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in association with the world body, FIFA, will conduct six courses for Indian referees.

Initially, two fitness courses will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat — one from June 21 to 24 and the other from June 26 to 29 — where Ganesan Maniam (Singapore), FIFA's Elite Referee Fitness Instructor, will be the trainer.

In addition, there will be three courses for referees in Kochi: FIFA-MA referees’ course, FIFA-MA assistant referees course and the FIFA-MA referees’ assessor/instructor course from July 22-26, July 24-28 and July 25-29 respectively.

FIFA’s Head of Referees Massimo Busacca (Switzerland) — this is his first visit to India — along with FIFA’s Technical Referee Instructor and UEFA Referee Observer Steve Bennett (Great Britain) — his second visit to India — will interact with the referees in Kochi. Busacca had won the best referee in the world award in 2009, and the same year he officiated in the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United. He has also officiated in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

There is also a FIFA women’s referees’ course scheduled in September, but the venue has not been decided.

“This has never happened in India; so many courses for referees. As football is looking up, so is Indian refereeing,” said AIFF’s head of referees Col. Goutam Kar (retd) to Sportstar here on Saturday. “Also, it is time to take stock of the situation in Indian refereeing.”

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