The FIFA Futuro III Head of Refereeing Course closing ceremony was held in New Delhi on Saturday (March 3). Sri Lanka’s Mr. Muhiseen Ariff, Refereeing Development Officer – FIFA, South Asia/Central Region, addressed the gathering and distributed certificates to the 15 participants and Mr. A.R. Dev, Chairman, Referees Committee, AIFF, and Goutam Kar, Head of Referees, AIFF.

Ariff, the course co-ordinator, thanked FIFA for appointing him to conduct the Course. He also had a special word of thanks for Mr. Praful Patel, the President of the All India Football Federation and Mr. Kushal Das, the General Secretary of the All India Football Federation.

“After FIFA introducing the implementation of Regulation for Referees structure, 74% of the Member Associations have implemented the same. It only speaks about its success,” he said in his address.

The RDO emphasised “the knowledge gained in the Course needs to be implemented among the State Associations for the development of referees.” He stressed, “it’s the responsibility of all the participants to create an awareness of the FIFA regulation which will be monitored for the success of the course.

“The event has been organised in the best of spirit and every minute detail have been taken care of,” he declared. “A referee’s life is all about sacrifice. Very few realise that we stay away from our families to conduct a thankless job.”

Goutam Kar thanked Ariff in being supportive and positive all throughout. “I need to thank him. He has been polite and dignified yet knowledgeable at the same time. Without his support, this course couldn’t have been a success,” Kar maintained, much to the applause of the participants. The participants even gave Ariff a standing ovation.

“I need to thank FIFA profusely for allowing Futuro III to be held exclusive in India. We stay indebted to FIFA,” Kar maintained.

This is the first time a Futuro III Course is being held solely for participants in a country in the South Asian region. Further, he thanked Mr. Tresaco Gracia Fernando, Refereeing Development Senior Manager, FIFA Competition Division, for his immense support for development of refereeing in India and Asia as a whole. Mr. A.R. Dev, thanked FIFA for their support declaring “India stay eager to hold another such event anytime in the near future.”