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Meet Kashmala Batool, the only woman referee in the 13th National Women Football Championship

Kashamala Batool is one of the only three active women referees in Pakistan. Photo: Our correspondent

KARACHI: There is only one woman referee in the ongoing 13th National Women Football Championship which features over 400 women players and officials.

Kashamala Batool is one of the only three active women referees in Pakistan.

The 31-year-old hails from Khairpur. She has been supervising matches alongside her male colleagues during the championship and has set her eyes on bossing men’s games as well.

Read more: 13th National Women Football Championship kicks off in Karachi

“The ongoing National Women Football Championship has only one female referee and that’s me, rest are all men referees. This is testament to the fact that we need more women in the field to supervise these games,”she told Geo after supervising the Diya Women FC vs Nawanshehar United game at the KMC sports complex in Karachi.

“I want to see a day when these women championship matches are supervised by only women referees,” she said.

Kashmala holds a Masters degree in physical education and works at as the PE head at a girls college.

Kashmala (centre) says her view of the game has changed since she became a referee. Photo: Our correspondent

She highlighted that lack of tournaments for women in country is one of the many reasons why there are not enough women to supervise women championship matches.

Once there are enough and regular tournaments for girls, they are more likely to join the profession, Kashmala said.

“After coming here, I’ve realised that we need more and more female referees. We hardly have three women doing this job, two of whom are from Balochistan,” she said, adding that she feels there aren’t enough tournaments for females.

More tournaments will encourage women to start a career not only as a player, but also a referee, Kashmala said. She hoped to see a day when women championship matches are supervised by only females.

The Khairpur referee (far left) is looking forward to supervising a men game for the first time next year. Photo: Our correspondent

Kashmala highlighted that she has also played hockey at the top level, which helped her maintain the pace required to be a referee in football.

Her view of the game has changed, she said, since she became a referee.

“Playing a match and supervising a match are two different things, you don’t realize small mistakes when you’re in the field as a player, but when you’re a referee, you’ve to keep an eye on everything and that makes you understand the game more closely,” she said.

The Khairpur referee is looking forward to supervising a men game for the first time next year.

“I also want to supervise matches in FIFA and AFC competitions and look forward to support from PFF,” she said.

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