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ISL 2021-22: The FDSL and AIFF will invest ten crores in referee development and will enlist the help of the Premier League’s PGMOL

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), the organizers of the Indian Super League, will invest more than Rs 10 crore in the development of referees in India over the next three years.

The Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL), an international organization that provides referees to the English Premier League, has joined the ‘Elite Referee Development Program’ project as strategic partners.

Investing in Referee Development

Through ISL‘s long-term cooperation with the Premier League, representatives from PGMOL will share their experience and provide direction to create a robust environment for match officials in the country.

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According to a source close to the situation who has over 25 years of experience officiating at the highest levels of international football said: “Refereeing is an integral element of football. The Elite Referee Development Program is a testament to FSDL and AIFF’s commitment to the holistic development of the sport in India. PGMOL is delighted to play its part in helping raise the standards of refereeing in Indian football.”

The source also added: “The program will enhance the professionalism at the elite level in Indian refereeing, decrease errors and increase the perception of the quality of Indian referees in coming years. The program will be based on procedures already adopted by the Premier League with a similar end goal in mind.”

About the Program

The program will include the development of a high-tech e-learning platform for referee education as well as the deployment of a digitized referee evaluation procedure using cloud and server-based video technology.

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The program’s goal is to develop a panel of 50 elite referees by the end of the first three-year cycle, who will be given full-time professional contracts.

For further professional development, exposure tours to the United Kingdom have been scheduled, where Indian referees would study match officials in the championship (2nd Division) and League One (3rd Division).

With three full-time referee coaches and an analyst, the PGMOL is now supporting the 26 AIFF-appointed referees in the ongoing 2021-22 ISL bio-bubble in Goa. Before each match, a pre-match greeting routine has been implemented to promote engagement and establish trust in the relationship between the ISL team coaching staff and match officials.

Read: FC Goa 2-1 Bengaluru FC: 3 talking points from heated ISL fixture

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