Lahore , 13 January : Billitang, a village of Kohat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 354 KM from Lahore, produced 30-years-old Khurram Shahzad who get the honor of becoming FIFA Referee as world soccer ruling body have awarded a total of seven Referee and Assistant Referee badges for 2011 to Pakistani referees.
“Referees in receipt of a FIFA badge are entitled to officiate at FIFA and AFC fixtures, both at club and international level. I hope that they will keep their fitness level and refereeing for the rest of the year.” said Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat.
“The work of these officials would be constantly monitored and it is mandatory that each of them shows consistent high-level performance,” said Faisal while adding that the new fitness test is designed to test the physical fitness and mental strength of the referees.
“The quality of the game also plays a major role in the development of refereeing. No referee in the world can claim to be the best in the world. One can only become a good referee when one makes the least number of mistakes,” he added.
Physical Teacher in Beaconhouse School System (Educational Complex), Khurram is well poised for entrance in AFC Elite Referees Panel and he was one of main referees in Pakistan Premier League and PFF Leagues besides age limit competitions of PFF, is the new entrant in the international refereeing list after occupying National Referees badge from 2006-10. Although Billitang’s Shaheen FC former player is recognized for his own talent as a smart referee, it is perhaps his brilliant refereeing in Second Super Football League (SFL) what makes him most notable in the history of football in Pakistan. Having completed B.A Diploma in Physical Education, he supervised the tense Karachi Energy-Quetta Zorawar final at the Peoples Sports Complex on 31 July 2010, and was later voted “ Best SFL Referee.” He was also Best Referee in National U14 Championship at Lahore 2007 and Inter Club Women Championship a year later at Islamabad.
Son of Muhammad Hayat, born on 28 August 1980, Khurram joined Rana Naseer Ahmed (Faisalabad) as one of the two referees from Pakistan for FIFA List 2011. Five Assistant Referees Waheed Murad, Shafaat Habib, Shahid Hussain, Muhammad Ali Jr., Rana Jehanzeb Tipu complete the numbers. The referees no more in FIFA panel are Shahid Rasheed, Abdul Aziz and Asif bin Younus.
Also member AFC Executive Committee and Chairman AFC Disciplinary Committee, Faisal added : “The nominations for these badges are for one year only and nominations for the following year will depend on performances along with the successful completion of physical tests and fulfilling their duties in a professional manner throughout the season.”
“Football is a global sport and its rules must be interpreted and applied with absolute consistency wherever the game is played. FIFA therefore has a policy of ongoing training for its referees to ensure that refereeing standards continue to improve and the Laws of the Game are applied the same way everywhere,” added by Faisal.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Football Association’s Syed Zahir Ali Shah and Secretary Agha Syed Noor Ahmad Shah praised Shafaat’s performance during last five years as Referee and congratulated him for occupying slot in FIFA Referee list.