Chennai football referees chosen for UEFA training in Geneva
India has become the only country from Asia to be invited for a UEFA training programme for referees in Geneva with three officials from here chosen for the key course which can pave the way for them to become FIFA referees.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has selected city-based referee R Venkatesh and assistant referees R Manojkumar and P Vairamuthu for the programme being organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) from April 25 to May 4.
The trio will be representing India which was the only country from Asia to be given a chance to participate in the programme, Venkatesh said.
If they do well at the programme, they could get selected for the final development course, in Geneva again, in October, a big step forward in becoming officials of the sport's world body FIFA.
The three are upbeat about the course and said they hoped to learn by interacting with referees from various countries and also competing with seven other "teams (of three officials each)".
Venkatesh said that it could be a big step in his dream of becoming a FIFA referee.
"Me and the two assistant referees will have to be at our best as we will be competing against referees from Europe.
They will assess our knowledge, fitness and game performance," he said.
Apart from the training and game performance, fitness would be assessed, the 26-year-old Venkatesh said and added that "the three of us would get an opportunity to referee in the Swedish league and lower divisions of the French league during the 10-day programme."