Basking in the success of the AIFF FAO (Football Association of Odhisha) Referees Academy in Cuttack, All India Football Federation (AIFF) is coming up with its second academy for referees, this time in association with Indian Football Association (IFA).

“We are coming up with our second Referees Academy in Barasat,West Bengal with the help of IFA,” AIFF Head of Referees Col. Goutam Kar informed

“We started off with the Academy project for referees last year in Cuttack. The response there has been phenomenal since and we now have a select bunch of category 3 referees who are ready for the national level,” he added.

Abiding by the strategic plan with FIFA, the referees department is targeting to establish four referees academies by the end of 2017. And according to Col. Kar the start has been perfect.

“Out of the 20 referees (15 boys and 5 girls) in Cuttack, we now have category 3 referees who are ready to come up the ranks. They had become category 3 referees during the one-year programme.

“Depending on their performance, they can be seen officiating I-League matches in the near future.”

The referees in the Academy train two days over the weekend throughout the year under dedicated referee instructors. The budding officials start from category 5 and 4, making it to category 3 during the one-year academy programme.

“The schedule will be the same for the Barasat Academy.  We have the same number of referees for this one too (17 boys and three girls).”

Highlighting the benefit of having academies for referees, Kar added: “To make their fundamentals strong at the beginning of their refereeing career so that in the longer run we get finished product in a better way when they come in national (cat 2 level).”

The Barasat Academy is set to start by the end of September.

-An AIFF Report