November 10, 2002 

Inspiration for the day

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Bentila, Methassery Veettil, Ponnarimangalam, Mulavu Kavu, Kochi

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For Bentila, Methassery Veettil, Ponnarimangalam, Mulavu Kavu, Kochi, becoming a national football player and then becoming national referee in the game were struggles of hardwork.

7th daughter of Laurance Dicoth and Rosali, she had no family background in sports or games.  But a chance break came her way in 1986 when the Golden Eagle Club, Ernakulam, arranged summer camp in football for girls.  Bentila, then a 1st year Degree student, joined the camp and then there was no looking back for her.

In 1988, she was selected to the Kerala team.  Since then she has been in the State team except for one year when injury prevented her from playing.

A second turning point in her life occurred when she attended the referees’ clinic organized by Kerala Referees’ Association at Kochi in 1996.  She felt an instant liking for the role of referees.  She then passed the Class-3 test with 1st rank and later Class-2 and Class-1 tests.

By refereeing in inter-district matches and Superleague matches in the district, she gained practical experience.  By January she had to cross the last hurdle to become a referee.  Officiating as referee at an Inter-State qualifying match between Goa and Gujarat.

When the State teams came to know that a woman qualifying for referee test was officiating in their match, they started making life miserable for Bentila.  However, the same office bearers congratulated her after the match.  “I consider it the greatest complement for my work,” she says.

This year on February 17, Kerala Football Federation announced her qualification as a national referee.

In 1998 the Association honoured her as the best woman footballer.



Courtesy: T.K.Rajeev (text), Sudheer Mohan (photo), Gruhalakshmi, June 2000

Contributed by: Administrator


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