Pursuing a Career as a Football Referee

 In Game

Not all heroes wear capes. Do you dream of officiating legends of the game? Can you make rational decisions under pressure? If yes, then this is your calling!

Referees, also known as football officials, are responsible for ensuring that the rules of a game are fairly and equitably enforced. Referees are also responsible for the safety of the players on the pitch by setting the pace and measure of aggressiveness legally permissible in the game. The referee is present to uphold the values and rules that govern the game even if – more often than not – the players and the fans of game disagree with their stance.

Amanpreet Singh, an Indian referee in Italy.
Credits: Sportskeeda

Min SSC or other equivalent board
Age between 18 to 45 (Ideally to become a national and International ref one needs to start between 18 to 30 years of age)
Pass the FIFA certified fitness test
Should not have any precondition with regards to eyesight.
Both male and female can apply for the course.

Medium of learning is English
3 to 7 day course (depending on the schedule and the availability of Instructors)
Examination will be conducted 15 days after the candidate has finished the theory session.

Tests module:
Theory test – 100 marks
Physical fitness test – 100 marks
Practical test – 100 marks
VIVA – 100 marks

(Candidates need to score above 80 in all the test to clear)
Any person who enjoys the game of football and dreams of officiating top players in the country can apply for the refereeing program. To participate in the referee training programs, interested candidates can reach out to the local Football Association located in every State, i.e any Member Association (MA) of All India Football Federation (AIFF). Once you have signed up, the instructors will train you to become a Category-5 (first level) Referee. Depending on your aptitude, you may start officiating lower division games within your first season.

The performance of candidates is reviewed for a year via written and physical evaluations, after which they are promoted to the next grade. After being evaluated year on year and clearing various levels, candidates are eligible to sit for the highest category of certification – the Category-2 level (National grade) examination after 3 years of joining as a Referee.

Uvena Fernandes was recently conferred with the #AFC Referees Special Award in #Malaysia Credits: Indiatimes

The most important aspect of being a referee is that the candidate must be passionate about the game and be dedicated towards ensuring players respect the laws of the game.


  1. Image File Name: Amanpreet Singh
    Image Caption: Amanpreet Singh, an Indian referee in Italy
    Credits: Sportskeeda
  2. Image File Name: Uvena Fernandes
    Image Caption: Uvena Fernandes was recently conferred with the #AFC Referees Special Award in #Malaysia
    Credits: Indiatimes
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