Manipur's Tekcham Ranjita awarded FIFA referee badge

ANI | Updated: Jan 22, 2018 18:20 IST

Imphal (Manipur) [India], Jan. 22 (ANI): Sports remain an essential part of the lifestyle of residents of northeast India with more and more youngsters excelling in various sports.

Over the years, the region has undoubtedly produced a number of football star players for the country, both at national and international levels.

The latest joinee of the hall of fame from the region is a 32-year-old former woman football player from Manipur, Tekcham Ranjita Devi, who has been awarded the Fifa referee badge.

The youngest of the five siblings, Ranjita started her career in the year 1999 as a football player playing for the local clubs. Later, the former woman football player enrolled as State Class III referee in 2007 and had passed National Grade (Category II) in 2016.

"Apart from my hard work, I would not have reached here today without my family's support. So, credit doesn't go to a single person, but also to my coach and family," Ranjita told ANI.

"We are very happy today for our daughter's success. We got to know about the news from our daughter as well as we got a called from her colleagues who too informed us," said Ranjita's father Tekcham Ningthourel.

And since then, there has been no turning back for her. She continues to outshine in sports by becoming the only second woman referee of Manipur to be awarded the FIFA Referee Badge, after Ch. Keilyani Chanu.

Ranjita's name was approved by the FIFA Referees Committee for FIFA World Cup 2018, making her the only woman referee from India to represent in FIFA 2018.

"Yes, I was hopeful of passing the national exam. Even my colleagues and teachers used to tell me that my performance . I might get the FIFA Referee badge soon... And, I am very happy and will continue to do better in life," Ranjita added.

Ranjita's humble background did not deter her dreams. With her strong determination and perseverance, the prestigious FIFA badge has now opened a gateway to international level.

Currently, serving as a woman constable in the 9th Indian Reserve Battalion, Ranjita has so far officiated in 51 national-level tournaments and various state and inter-University matches.

Also, she has officiated in four international matches, including three as an assistant referee and one as referee.

However, Ranjita got her first breakthrough as the centre referee in the National Games held at Kerala and at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Games.

"Yes, I did face problems during bandhs and strikes. I did not go for the practice too. But what I only want to say is whenever you get an opportunity to do something in life, do your best and don't wait for others to do it for you," she added. (ANI)