Sunny Singh Gill to become first referee of Indian descent to control EPL game | Football News - Hindustan Times

Sunny Singh Gill to become first referee of Indian descent to control Premier League game

AP |
Mar 05, 2024 07:05 AM IST

The 39-year-old Singh Gill was appointed referee for Crystal Palace’s game against Luton at Selhurst Park in London.

Sunny Singh Gill is set to become the first referee of Indian descent to take charge of an English Premier League game on Saturday.

Sunny Singh Gill(PL)
Sunny Singh Gill(PL)

The 39-year-old Singh Gill was on Monday appointed referee for Crystal Palace’s game against Luton at Selhurst Park in London.

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“He will become the first British South Asian to referee a match in the competition,” the league said.

Singh Gill is following the lead set by his father, Jarnail Singh Gill, who remains the only English league football referee to have worn a turban. Jarnail Singh Gill was born in India and moved to England with his mother and sister when he was 3. After taking charge of Bristol Rovers vs. Bury Town on Aug. 10, 2004, he went on to officiate nearly 200 matches across divisions until 2010.

Sunny Singh Gill’s brother, Bhupinder, is also a referee.

The Premier League said Bhupinder Singh Gill was “the first Sikh-Punjabi to serve as a Premier League assistant referee” when he officiated during a game between Southampton and Nottingham Forest in January 2023.

“Football has always run in the family,” Sunny Singh Gill told the English Football League website last year. “Me and my brother grew up loving the game and, like most young kids, we just wanted to play but in our household it was a bit different because when we were going to primary school, we knew our dad was going out to referee on a weekend. There were times he was a fourth official in the Premier League and our friends would say they saw him on ‘Match of the Day.’”

Sunny Singh Gill took charge of his first Sunday League match when he was 17. In 2021, both he and Bhupinder became the first people of Indian descent to officiate in the same Championship match. The Championship is the tier below the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Paul Tierney has not been chosen to referee a game in the next round of Premier League matches, in the wake of his mistake in the Nottingham Forest-Liverpool game on Saturday. He will instead be a video assistant referee for Arsenal’s home game against Brentford on Saturday.

Tierney stopped play after Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate sustained a knock to the head at a Forest corner just before Liverpool's stoppage-time goal.

After Konate quickly recovered, Tierney dropped the ball to Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher — even though Forest had possession on the edge of Liverpool’s area at the moment play was halted.

Forest's players and coaching staff were furious after the final whistle, with club owner Evangelos Marinakis coming down to the touchline to express his unhappiness and later approach Tierney.

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