The Fiji Football Association’s lone FIFA assistant referee Avinesh Narayan once again retained his badge for the 2020 season.

Narayan’s badge for this season was sent during the COVID-19 lockdown in Fiji and was handed to him by Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel in Ba last week.

While receiving his badge, Narayan thanked the Fiji FA and his well-wishers for the continued support.

“I would like to thank Fiji FA, all referees and my beloved family who have been supporting me all the way and I look forward to your continuous support in future,” he said.

Narayan started his refereeing career in 2007 before going for the FIFA fitness test five years later.

“I started refereeing in 2007 after passing the first fitness test. After gaining exposure and experiences, I then attended the category 1 fitness test for FIFA assistant referees in 2012.

“From 2012, I have been passing all my physical and theory tests and that’s how I managed to maintain my FIFA assistant referee badge.”

He said maintaining his fitness levels had been the major key to his success.

“To get your doors open, the first and the most important thing is maintaining fitness, otherwise your door is closed for refereeing.

“The other very important thing is that we need to be well versed and understand the laws of the game.

“When referees are appointed by OFC or FIFA or any international tournaments, both tests are taken before the tournament, and if anyone fails, they are sent back.

“So it’s not easy to be a FIFA referee or assistant referee.

“I have worked hard over the years to maintain my FIFA badge.”