NEW DELHI: In a major boost for Refereeing in India, Venkatesh Ramachadran has been selected as AFC Elite Men Referees Panel 2022, having completed 4 years in the AFC Referee Academy successfully.
“I feel very happy at this moment and I thank each and everyone who supported and helped to reach this level. Refereeing is my life and this achievement means a lot to me,” Venkatesh told www.the-aiff.com
Venkatesh who hails from Chennai was a chemical engineer in his early days. But the love for football and passion for refereeing prompted him to make the switch and pursue his dreams.
“I used to be a football player since childhood. I did my graduation in Chemical Engineering and served a year in the chemical industry. Thereafter, I undertook physical education in an effort to become a referee,” he informed.
“To reach this level, it took me 12 years. The last four years in the AFC Referee Academy has helped immensely. The four years consist of introductory, intermediate and advanced courses, where FIFA and AFC top instructors guided me to improve my technical, physical and psychological ability,” he informed. “I would like to thank AFC and AIFF for their continuous support, and trust.”
Venkatesh started his career in 2009 and has officiated in matches on the domestic front in the Hero I- League (2015- 2020), Hero ISL (2016 – 2022), Hero Super Cup (2016), Hero Santhosh Trophy (2014), Durand Cup (2019), and Hero Inter Continental Cup (2019).
There are a lot of instances where a referee understands the importance of a situation on the pitch and acts likewise. In such a case, Venkatesh likes to stay focused.
“In every game, I face different challenging situations. So I always prepare for those demands. Refereeing itself is a big challenge in modern football,” he stated.
When asked about his favourite match in his long career, he said, “In my refereeing journey, the Kolkata Derby game which I officiated in the Hero I-League will always be special for me because of the big fan base and the rivalry in the game.”
Venkatesh has also won AIFF Best Referee Award in the year 2019 and AIFF Professional Referee award in 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022 respectively.
“My message to young referees will be that they need to take it as a challenge in every game, be a professional, be passionate with hard work, dedication and develop their refereeing skills. I hope that one day all of you make your dreams come true,” he concluded.
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