Shillong, Jul 6:┬áIn a terrific accomplishment, Ri-iohlang Dhar, one of only three FIFA woman referees from India, has passed an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) course for ‘elite’ referees.

The course was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 25th to 28th June.

A lot of hard work had to go into Dhar’s success, as the 29 candidates from the AFC region had to meet physical fitness requirements, as well as undergo theory and practical tests. Only 16 managed to pass the course.

The road is now open for Dhar to officiate at an U-15 girls football tournament for South Asian nations to be held in Bhutan next month.

It was in December last year that Dhar was selected by the FIFA Referees Committee to be in the FIFA panel of referees eligible to officiate international matches for 2018. She joined Uvena Fernandes in FIFA’s assistant referees panel from India.┬áRanjita Devi Tekcham (who also passed the AFC course) of Manipur is the only Indian woman referee on the FIFA panel. Dhar is the youngest of the trio.

Born in 1990, Dhar was also an official during the final round of the Indian Women’s League, which was held in Shillong earlier this year.

In December 2016 she cleared the Cat-2 national refereeing examination. She’s been officiating at local football events since 2009 and is an employee in the Meghalaya police.

(TSR file photo)

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