40-year-old Santosh Kumar from Kottayam, Kerala is an Indian professional football referee who officiates primarily in the I-League.
He always had a dream to be on the football ground, and million of eyes were watching him when he kicks to hit the goal. He had a strong desire of becoming a footballer.
In 2012, he was one among the three others who clinched FIFA certification of a professional referee by All India Football Federation. He is India's one of the six FIFA- Certified referees. But being at the top sixth among the billions is not considered an achievement for him as India holds 147th rank for football in the world. Now, at the age of 40 when he is no more on the ground, he has to drive an auto rickshaw to survive himself and his family.
He had to work out for several hours, practice for football and undergo the fitness test to achieve the accreditation of the FIFA- referee.
Santhosh has received an award of the best referee by the AIFF.
When he will turn 45, he will not be able to referee matches anymore.