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Interview Team : Tamil Dharani; Ashok Kumar; Jyothsna


"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen"

A sixth standard girl from Dindigul with no sports background was curious about football. When she pursued her curiosity passionately, she turned out to become Tamilnadu's first International football referee selected by FIFA!

Here's what we got to hear from the state's pride, Rupa Devi.





You could've been a football player, but what made you opt for the referee post?


If I were only a player, there would have been times when I'd have had to wait for a match to come up. I love football and I want to play it for a lifetime. That'd be more possible for a referee than for a player.


I want to be a referee than a player which would help me play football forever.


 How did your parents react to your decision?


Since I was the first in my family to pursue sports, they were actually enthusiastic about it. Whenever I was idle at home, they'd ask me "enna innum ground ku pogalayaa?" 


How does the sudden media exposure and numerous calls of appreciations make you feel?


Recieving that many number of calls continuously, 'en phone eh odanjuruchu' (laughs). Now I'm not even able to respond to e-mails. People even call my friends to talk to me and my friends say 'be busy if you want to. But why are they all calling us?' in a friendly way.


en phone eh odanjuruchu


 As a FIFA referee, you'll have to communicate with international players on the field. How will you handle the language barriers?


For football, the language you need to know is 'football'. Also, I have my whistle for help  but if at all an argument sprouts up, I am supposed to point out the rules which are universally in english and I'm okay with that. 


For football, the language you need to know is 'football'


About being a referee in a tough match...


A tough match is where I can prove myself. Whenever a quarrel arises in my match, I prompt to myself that it's me who has the whistle. How will I not be able to handle something that happens in my own field? 


Uruguay's Luis Suarez has been accused of biting a player for the third time in his career at the World Cup. Your thoughts on this?


Matches are not for cheating. When in a game, one should concentrate only in the game and respect every other player. Even in my matches, players hit each other's hands in an outburst of sportive emotions. They don't plan and do it, but they should avoid doing that.


players hit each other's hands in an outburst of sportive emotions


Who is your inspiration?


Shankar Komeleshwaran, my favourite referee, is my inspiration. When I didn't even know if I'd win a match, he was the one who set the pace and timing for my running and workouts and prepared me to become a referee. He always wanted the best players to flourish.


A career apart from sports?


I've just completed a course to become a sanitary inspector in the government. Though I have direct recommendations, I'm still awaiting response.


Tell us about your family.


 My mother passed away 5 years ago and father passed away 4 years ago. My sister is married and I live with her. Most of my daily expenses are taken care of by my friends.


Cinema? Favourites?


I last watched Baahubali because everyone celebrated it's "Brammaandam" but it had an unexpected climax. I loved the english soccer film 'Goal'. My favourite actor is Ajith and my favourite actress is Shalini. Amarkalam is the only film that I've watched the maximum number of times so far.


My favourite actor is Ajith and my favourite actress is Shalini



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