echo ''; Clamorworld » In everyday life every one of us comes across various experiences, incidents which we either don’t share with anyone or share with family members and friends. Print media, electronic media and various medium shows the news, but its ends up showing one sided of the story. We never come to know the other side of story. With so much happening every day, every second across our neighborhood, society, and world it’s difficult for the news media to cover all the news. Many times we have felt wish we could share our voice, opinion, thoughts with the world. Many a times we have felt the frustration, anger and helplessness for not being able to do anything about an incident. Have you ever felt, for a good cause, you need support, but don’t know how to garner the support and attention. So, now you have an option “www.Clamorworld.com“. This is a platform to share everything you want to. A website 100% runs by the people for the people. The world is waiting to listen to your voice, the voice which has kept you suppressed so far. If you do not want to share the incident, event personally, please send it to us at contact@clamorworld.com, and we will share it on your behalf and assure to keep your name confidential. Let’s make this world a peaceful and a happy place to live. » He’s an auto-driver, also one of India’s six FIFA certified referees

He’s an auto-driver, also one of India’s six FIFA certified referees

 

 
Last Sunday, as you watched Mohun Bagan clinch their first I-league title in over thirteen years at Bengaluru’s Kanteerava stadium, you would have easily overlooked the man who refereed the match. Running alongside players that rainy evening was MB Santhosh Kumar, one of only six referees accredited by FIFA from India.

Sadly, being one among the six in a billion is not good enough. When the 40-year old is not on the field keeping an eye on players, he is on the roads driving an auto-rickshaw to make ends meet.

His accreditation is no mean achievement, considering India is ranked 147 at the football world rankings. But that was not always his plan.

“I always wanted to be a footballer,” says Kumar, speaking to The News Minute over the phone from his home in Kottayam, “I suffered a knee injury when I was 21, so I could not become a player.”

But that did not mean he would not be a part of the beautiful game. He used to referee unofficial matches in Kerala, starting with local games in paddy fields, before qualifying for professional matches.

Being a football referee in India is not enough to pay the bills. Initially, Kumar worked as a caretaker at an apartment complex in Kottayam, and then took to driving auto-rickshaws for a living. “Refereeing is not a reliable field. Professionally accredited referees do recieve renumeration, but tough for other. If we do not pass the fitness test, it is nearly impossible to come back to the field,” he says.
He follows a demanding physical training regime. Basketball at the YMCA ground every morning, then a workout at the gym, followed by football practice in the evenings, that’s an average day for him.

He referees close to 150 games a year. A referee runs an average 11kms during every match.

Indian referees, as are players, a far cry from their counterparts in other soccer-playing nations. “We are still developing. Foreign referees even have a dietitian to keep a tab on what they eat,” he says.

Having been in the business for 20 years now, Kumar has refereed some important matches in India. Aside from the National Games in China in 2013 and the Nehru Cup in 2012, Kumar has also refereed former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia’s farewell game against German team Bayern Munich in 2011.

“The quality has improved recently. We performed well in the ISL recently. Compared to international teams, quality is not up to the mark, but when compared with our previous record, we have definitely come a long way,” he says.

Kumar was awarded the best referee by the AlFF for a second year running. But in most matches, while the referee gets just a memento, players get cash rewards.

With football gradually reaching more homes in the country, Kumar hopes the government job he was promised will finally come through. “After some media reports, the Kerala Sports Council President Padmini Thomas and Sports Minister Thiruvanjoor Radhakrishnan visited and offered me a job,” he says.

When he turns 45, he will not be able to referee matches anymore.

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