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“Not a footballer, I’m a referee now” – Chand

The Fiji FA /FIFA referee has targeted a FIFA appointment and believes officiating at the 2014 OFC Champions League is a major step towards achieving his goal.#The Labasa-based Holy Family Secondary school teacher – who coached Fijian international striker Roy Krishna during his tenure at All Saints – dreams of following in the footsteps of Fiji FA referees Ravinesh Kumar, Suresh Behari and Rakesh Varman who all excelled at FIFA tournaments.#“I love playing football and I always wanted to represent the Labasa football side,” Chand said.#“As a teacher I was tasked to coach a side which then provided me an opportunity to officiate a game as that time there were a low number of referees in Labasa.#“After officiating the games I saw the opportunities that were presented to me as a referee and I made up my mind to pursue my career as a referee.”#Chand got his first Fiji FA appointment in 2007 during a Labasa-Lautoka league match.#An injury later in his career sidelined Chand for a season but he was quick to recover and regained his spot in the FIFA referees panel.#“Pursuing a career as a referee is a challenging one as one has to be fit and prepared to adapt to the fast changing game.#“I have officiated in Oceania playoffs and major Fiji FA events but my ultimate goal is to officiate at a FIFA age group or senior World Cup event.#“I guess all local referees might be aiming for that but it is good to see everyone trying,” Chand added.#The Labasa school teacher has passed his fitness test and is now looking forward to the OFC Champions League.#With a legacy of Fijian match officials to emulate and a keen eye for opportunity, nobody would write off Chand’s chances.# Fiji FA MEDIA

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