The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Thursday announced the appointment of experienced Englishman Trevor Kettle as Chief Refereeing Officer (CRO) to oversee all refereeing matters of the organisation.
The implementation of the Elite Refereeing Development Plan (ERDP), developing and identifying refereeing talent from the grassroots, and professionalising those operating at the elite level will fall within Kettle’s remit.
This will require close collaboration with many stakeholders across the country and Kettle will work in conjunction with the newly-elected AIFF Referees Committee, the federation said in a release.
Kettle brings with him a wealth of experience from within the English professional game, having officiated in over 800 professional games.
A Premier League Assistant Referee from 1999-2003, he witnessed first-hand the introduction of full-time professional referees and officiated in the final of the Football League Cup between Tottenham Hotspur v Blackburn Rovers, the first Community Shield between Liverpool vs Arsenal and many other high-profile games.
Promoted to the National List of Referees in 2003, Kettle officiated across the three English football leagues, including the Championship, and was one of the senior-most referees.
In addition, he was the prime spokesperson for the National Group of Referees and was instrumental in pursuing initiatives to improve the fairness and integrity of match officials.
Welcoming Kettle to the AIFF, Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran said: “The appointment of Mr. Kettle as the CRO in the AIFF is actually the beginning of a new chapter in Indian refereeing.
“A whole lot of change is expected to come in Indian football since a new roadmap would be ushered in very soon and refereeing would be an important segment of the exercise.” Kettle said, “The main objective right now is not only to improve refereeing at the highest level, but also to identify the young talents who can be the elite referees later. There are a number of strategic points on which we can work towards this.
“The other one is to raise the profile of the Indian referees with both the AFC and FIFA, and the final objective is to identify talent and to energise that talent to reach the top.”