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U-17 Women’s World Cup: Referee Education Scholarship Programme inaugurated

Bombay, September 18 (IANS): FIFA’s Head of Women’s Football Development Arijana Demirovic and AIFF Secretary General, Shaji Prabhakaran, inaugurated the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup legacy initiative, Referee Education Scholarship Program, at the Cooperage Football Ground on Saturday.

Arijana, who is making a special visit to India in the run-up to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 – scheduled from October 11 to October 30.

The REferee Education Scholarship Program in Mumbai has 32 female participants.

“It is imperative that the development of football be inclusive. The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 is already encouraging female grassroots participation through its legacy initiative, the Coach Education Scholarship Program and the Referee Education Scholarship Program is another key step towards equal representation,” Arijana said at the event.

“As women’s football is evolving around the world in terms of elite-level viewership and grassroots participation, it’s only natural that the next step would be an increased number of female referees. We are very pleased with this initiative and believe that it will leave a positive footprint in the Indian football ecosystem,” said Arijana Demirovic.

Meanwhile, Dr. Prabhakaran that initiatives such as the Referee Education Scholarship Program will inspire more women to choose football as a career.

“Women’s soccer development and increased representation are key areas of focus for holistic soccer growth in India. The Referee Education Scholarship Program is a step in that direction. The 32 candidates of this program are representative of the vast pool of women within the current ecosystem who are ready and be willing to pursue a career in football,” said Dr. Prabhakaran.

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“We believe such initiatives will inspire more women to be actively involved in football. With an increase in female referees – and coaches – women’s participation at the grassroots will certainly increase,” concluded Dr. Prabhakaran.

Souter Vaz, Honorary Secretary, Western India Football Association (WIFA) and Malojiraje Chhatrapati, Honorary President of the Kolhapur Sports Association (KSA), also attended to encourage positive social change and equal representation. The dignitaries spoke to the inaugural group of participants in the LOC Referee Education Scholarship Program.

The referee development program is designed to produce qualified Indian referees at all levels for national and international competitions and to promote refereeing as a career.

The main objective of the program is to build an important strong support structure for referees, with a special focus on human capital through grassroots development activities, youth development and professional competitions to ensure the updated knowledge of the Laws of the Game (LOTG). sharing and implementing the same at all levels.


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