The objective of the meeting was to ensure better communication between coaches and referees, by seeking aid from PGMOL officials.

Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) yesterday organised an ‘Open Communication Forum’ between the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs’ Head Coaches, officials at All India Football Federation (AIFF), and its Referees Department to discuss a number of aspects related to developing the officiating of the games and communication between coaches and match officials.

Representatives of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) who officiate the Premier League were in attendance to share their experiences and provide guidance as part of their tie-up with the ISL and the AIFF.

The objective of this first-of-its-kind meeting was to acknowledge the need for two-way communication between the coaches and the AIFF’s appointed referees, to have constructive discussion while reviewing the matches, and on the continued development of the match officials.

As the first constructive step, starting with the resumption of ISL post-Christmas break and as part of the process, a specific allocated time following the matchday will give the opportunity to the coaches to discuss with the referees department aspects of the game that may have arisen where clarity is required and both parties can discuss issues that will benefit the overall development of the game in line with the international best practices in football.

FSDL initiate measures to bring in coaches, referees and PGMOL officials

PGMOL officials have also been assisting the AIFF on an ongoing basis with the continued development and training of match officials supported by the ISL and the league is keen for this development programme to be invested in and further developed.

AIFF Referee Department has assigned 12 referees and 14 assistant referees for the ongoing ISL 2020-21 season. In addition, Adley Costa and Ramesh Babu have been attached to the 26-member referee group with ISL as Referees’ Coach.

All stakeholders involved believe this collective approach to further develop a training and education programme will improve the required level and consistency for officiating in Indian football.

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