Uvena Fernandes Becomes India's First Woman Referee at a FIFA World Cup
Uvena Fernandes, a former Indian international footballer and now a FIFA-certified referee, has been selected to officiate games at the upcoming FIFA U17 Women's World Cup in Jordan
- Bhargab Sarmah
- Updated: July 29, 2016 07:27 PM IST
Uvena Fernandes is set to officiate at the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup
The 34-year-old referee is a former international footballer
Fernandes had previously officiated at the Incheon Asian Games
Uvena Fernandes, an Indian referee, is set to officiate at the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup to be held in Jordan later this year.
The 34-year-old Fernandes, who also featured at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014, will become the second referee from the country after K Shankar, who was part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, to officiate at a World Cup.
"It is like a dream come true. It is a wonderful opportunity for me and I am excited to see myself officiate in a FIFA World Cup," she told the All India Football Federation website after her selection.
"I am still coming to terms with the fact that I have been appointed to officiate in the U-17 World Cup in Jordan. It is not only a boost for me, it's a boost for women's football and women's refereeing in general," she added.
A former professional footballer herself, Uvena Fernandes had represented India at the 2003 AFC Asian Women's Championship.
Later that year, she took up refereeing as a profession, and quickly rose through the ranks to go on and officiate in youth tournaments, including the Subroto Cup, India's most prestigious international school-level competition conducted by the Indian Air Force.
The former India international joined the Air Force Academy in 2006, going on to become a flight lieutenant and serving as an air traffic controller.
Fernandes, who is an assistant referee, came to prominence in 2012 when she was certified as a Category 2 referee by the AIFF, allowing her to officiate in national-level matches.
She earned her FIFA badge in 2014, the same year she went to Incheon, qualifying her to officiate in international games.
However, featuring in a major FIFA event will surely be the biggest moment in what has been a successful career for the young referee so far.