The female football referee Uvena Fernandez (aged 34) shows the world that she’s a force worth reckoning with as she becomes the second Indian (after K Shanker who was a part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup) and the first Indian woman to have been invited to officiate at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup set to take place in Jordan later this year.
A former professional footballer herself, UvenaFernandes had represented India at the 2003 AFC Asian Women’s Championship and later in the same year she took up refereeing as a full time profession. She soon rose through the ranks and went on to officiate several youth tournaments including one of India’s most prestigious international school-level competitions; the Subroto Cup, which is conducted by the Indian Air Force.
Being an assistant referee, Uvena came into the spotlight in 2012 after being certified as a Category-2 referee by the AIFF which enabled her to officiate in national level matches. Further, in 2014, she earned her FIFA badge and gained qualification to officiate in international matches which led to her officiating in the Asian Games in Incheon in the same year.
Uvena’s queue of accomplishments and accolades are proof that you can achieve great heights if you put your best efforts into what you do.
“It is like a dream come true. It is a wonderful opportunity for me and I am excited to see myself officiate in a FIFA World Cup,” is what she told the All India Football Federation upon selection for the FIFA event. “I am still coming to terms with the fact that I have been appointed to officiate in the U-17 World Cup in Jordan. It is not only a boost for me, it’s a boost for women’s football and women’s refereeing in general.”
It just goes to show that women are increasingly growing more powerful and prominent in the world around us as they choose to embrace their passion and follow their dreams. This particular laurel will certainly help Uvena rise further in her international career for years to come.