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Fiji Time: 3:13 PM on Sunday 20 April

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The best referee

Zanzeer Singh
Friday, March 01, 2013

FIFA assistant referee Ravinesh Kumar won the best referee award during the 2012 Fiji Football Association awards function at the Fun World Plaza in Nadi.

Kumar, the Lomowai Secondary School teacher, is the first soccer referee from the country to officiate in the Olympics.

The 30-year-old said he learnt a lot from his mentors to able to attain a FIFA badge.

He said it was an honour for him to fly Fiji's flag during the 2012 London Olympics.

"I'm very happy to win the referee of the year award," Kumar said.

"It was an honour for me to represent Fiji at the London Olympics. Even though it was refereeing, it was certainly a dream come true. It is a learning point for all the referees that we achieve high goals if we really try hard."

In 2011 Kumar became the first referee to officiate in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. He was selected as assistant referee alongside top New Zealand whistle blower Peter O' Leary and his fellow Kiwi assistant referee Jan-Hendrik Hintz from the Oceania Football Confederation for the London Olympics.

Kumar was introduced to refereeing by former FIFA referee badge holder Intaz Shah and is a member of the Nadi Football Referees Association.

He is set to attend a FIFA referee's seminar in April.

"You have to respect the elder guys in the field," Kumar said.

"They give the right instructions which you have to follow. That is one of the things that has given me the boost."

"My next program is coming up in April when I will be attending a seminar in Dubai. I'm taking one step at a time. I hope to achieve more in my refereeing career. It is challenging to do the games with match officials from other nations."

Kumar has been refereeing for seven years.