KOLKATA: Barely two weeks after handing Professional Contracts to three eminent FIFA referees earlier this month, All India Football Federation embarked on another significant step for the development of referees in the country.
On Saturday (October 20), the AIFF joined hands with NVD Solar Limited for a three-year deal over the Referees Development Programme (RDP) at the Hotel Hindustan International in Kolkata.
Senior Vice President Mr. Subrata Dutta, Head of AIFF Referees Col. Goutam Kar, NVD Managing Director Mr. Saibal Hazra and Chairman Mr. Arun Kumar Chakraborty were present on the occasion. A number of former referees along with Mr. Udayan Halder, represented the Calcutta Referees Association.
Under the Partnership, NVD will be proving financial support for various referees training and developmental activities in the next three years.
Speaking on the association, Mr Dutta said: “This is an extremely important step towards the development of referees. The role of a referee stays vital. The standard of refereeing was not up to mark in India until last year when Mr. Kar took up the responsibility prepare a roadmap for referees.”
“Today, he can be relaxed that he has much needed financial support to back his endeavour. Refereeing in India is no more a neglected area. That we now have three professionally contracted FIFA referees with us and now a financial help from NVD, the future looks bright,” he added.
“That refereeing in India is going in the right direction can be gauged by the fact that we have been upgraded from level IV to level II in AFC category. This means more International Exposure for referees.”
An elated Kar maintained: “This is an extremely important step towards development of referees. We need to expand our Programme as a whole. The training activities need to expand horizontally as well as vertically. Horizontally, we need to nurture more referees and vertically, as we need more top quality referees who can officiate the ultimate football show!”
He continued: “The financial help from NVD Solar will go a long way in achieving our target. Recently we had awarded three referees professional contract. With this tie-up with NVD, the scope of contracting more referees in the future.”
NVD Managing Director Mr. Saibal Hazra said development of the sport stays NDV’s priority. “Football is one of the most prized sports of our country and it’s our responsibility to keep its charm alive among the future generation. Relationship with football is now new to us. NVD has worked for the development of football in the recent past and currently the relation has loomed large.”
AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das who has been a supporter of Referee’s Development all throughout, thanked NVD for their support.
“It’s a great step forward for the development of referees in the country. I am confident the partnership will lead us to overall development of the game. I thank NVD for supporting such an important initiative and look forward to a fruitful partnership,” he told www.the-aiff.com.