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Dreams shattered

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, April 28, 2014

RAVINESH Kumar's dreams of officiating at the 2014 Brazil World Cup have been shattered after he sustained a thigh muscle injury.

Kumar is the first match official from the country appointed to officiate at the FIFA World Cup.

The 31-year-old who was appointed in January sustained the injury last month two weeks before a scheduled fitness test in Zurich.

Kumar said he was unable to attend the test.

"It is a big disappointment because I was carrying big hopes of the Fiji football fraternity," he said.

"But I have to accept the fact because this is life and injury can come at any time. Psychologically it is hard to accept.

"I have the visa, airline ticket and the accommodation but I cannot board the plane. It is just like missing the flight.

"But I'm happy with all I have achieved so far. There is a long way to go but I have not decided what to do.

"I would like to thank all the people who supported me. The injury came at the last moment and I could not do anything. I trained hard every day.

"I sustained the injury two weeks before I attended a seminar in Zurich. I was supposed to attend the fitness test there. I went there but could not start the test and the FIFA doctors stopped me from the activities."

Kumar created history when he became the local soccer referee to officiate at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

This was another milestone in his refereeing career after becoming the first local to officiate at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in 2011.

Kumar was introduced to refereeing by former FIFA referee badge holder Intaz Shah.

He was part of the referee's panel at the Oceania 2014 World Cup stage one qualifiers in Samoa.

"There is big potential for the other referees on the world stage provided they have the right guidance," Kumar said.

"If they are committed, they can achieve their goals."

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