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Meet English Premier League's first Sikh assistant referee

January 05, 2023 16:26 IST

IMAGE: Bhupinder Singh Gill ran the line in Southampton's home English Premier League match against Nottingham Forest at St Mary's on Wednesday. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Bhupinder Singh Gill made history as the English Premier League's first Sikh-Punjabi assistant referee on Wednesday when he ran the line in Southampton's home game against Nottingham Forest at St Mary's.


The 37-year-old comes from a soccer family, with father Jarnail Singh the first referee to wear a turban in the English league and officiating in more than 150 Football League (EFL) games between 2004-10.

Bhupinder's elder brother Sunny is also an EFL referee.

"This has to be the proudest and most exciting moment in my refereeing journey, but I’m not getting carried away as it is just another step in the direction to where I want to get to," Bhupinder told English media before the game.

"Hopefully, this is another moment to help inspire the next generation to sign up to a refereeing course and get into officiating.

"My dream has always been to reach the top of the game, be a role model for future officials and encourage more people from diverse backgrounds into officiating, especially from a South Asian background just like me."

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