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AIFF to improve refereeing, appoint 50 referees on contractual basis

Aiming to lift the standard of refereeing in the country, the All India Football Federation is set to appoint 50 referees on contractual basis and pay them a “significant” amount as monthly salary, in order to help them earn their livelihood form this alone.

Besides enhancing supervision levels, implementation of tools like the video assistant referee (VAR) is necessary to keep home-grown adjudicators abreast of modern technology without which plum assignments would be hard to come by, Kettle has informed the AIFF.

AIFF to improve refereeing, appoint 50 referees on contractual basis

AIFF to appoint 50 referees on contractual basis for Rs 80,000 per month

AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey said that the standard of refereeing can be improved if the Indian referees earn enough money to run their families and work full time on their profession. Foreign coaches of Indian Super League teams used to criticise Indian referees for their “errors”.

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“Every year, there is complaint about quality of refereeing in India, about refereeing error whether in the ISL or I-League or Santosh Trophy, which has affected the fortunes of the aggrieved team. But there is more to this issue,” Chuabey told on Tuesday.

The remuneration of a referee per match is very low. In state leagues, a referee gets Rs 2500 to Rs 5000, and in national leagues from Rs 8000 to Rs 10,000. This comes to Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh a year, which is insufficient for a referee to maintain his family by doing refereeing only.

AIFF to improve refereeing, appoint 50 referees on contractual basis

“To address that, we have decided that 50 referees will be appointed and each of them will be given state government level salary of around Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 per month, which is fair enough for a referee to maintain his family.” He said only then the referees can focus solely on their jobs.

“So, we are giving contractual jobs to these 50 referees of between 18 to 45 years of age. This is a policy decision we have made and the finer details of how to appoint referees on contractual basis will be chalked out by the AIFF secretariat.

“Also, we have the Chief Refereeing Officer (Trevor Kettle) who is well qualified and a hugely experienced man. He will work with the AIFF Referee Committee. They will make the criteria of the appointments.

“Then, any man and woman who has the requisite qualification or training can apply for the refereeing jobs.” Chaubey said the AIFF has set aside a budget for the appointment of 50 referees but insisted that his organisation will go for quality rather than numbers.

AIFF to improve refereeing, appoint 50 referees on contractual basis

“Ex-players can also try their luck as referees. They can continue to be a part of the game by refereeing in international matches, in Asian Games or Olympics or World Cup.

“We will encourage quality referees and minimise these human errors in matches.” He said the AIFF will primarily focus on the refereeing standard of the national level leagues and tournaments but that should percolate down to the state and lower level.

“We are setting up refereeing academies and though our main focus is on the quality of refereeing in national level tournaments, surely it will have impact at the state level and quality will also be better there.” On Monday, Kettle proposed a 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 AIFF Referees Committee headed by former FIFA referee Michael Andrews has agreed in principle about the project and decided to review the existing policy and prepare a new one as per the requirements.

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