Sunny Singh Gill: Pioneering Sikh-Punjabi referee follows in footsteps of ‘proud’ father Jarnail in historic EFL game | Soccer News


Jarnail Singh said he was more nervous than on his own EFL debut as he watched his son, Sunny, referee Northampton against Hartlepool on a historic day for refereeing.

Former pioneering Sikh-Punjabi league referee Singh beamed with pride after watching from the stands at Sixfields as his eldest son Sunny Singh Gill followed in his footsteps by taking charge of his first EFL game.

Until Saturday, Jarnail was the last British South Asian to referee an EFL game after presiding over the League Two clash between Yeovil and Oldham in 2010.

Jarnail told Sky Sports News: “I probably felt more nervous than when I made my EFL debut, but I’m also a very proud father today.

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Jarnail Singh Gill was proud of his son Sunny, who became the first British South Asian to referee an EFL match since his father more than a decade ago.

“Enjoy the game and enjoy everything [was my advice before the game to Sunny].

“But I’m a really proud dad. Overall I think he did well. He did what he had to do with the precautions and things like that. There were maybe a few technical issues, which we’ll discuss on the way home – that’s if he wants to talk about it.”

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Sky Sports News announces that Sunny Singh Gill will take charge of Northampton Town against Hartlepool United and will become the first British South Asian to referee an English Football League match since his father Jarnail Singh more than a decade ago.

Jarnail added: “These days there is a lot of pressure [on referees in general]. There are cameras at every game, you are observed at every game. It’s a multi-million pound industry and the pressures are huge.”

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Sunny Singh Gill said he would bring something different before becoming the first South Asian to referee an EFL game since his father Jarnail Singh in 2010. Dad Jarnail said he would referee the game with his son from the stands .

Sunny’s EFL debut came during South Asian Heritage Month and comes just over a week after fellow Sikh-Punjabi Roop Kaur Bath was made his first-team debut by West manager Ham Women’s Paul Konchesky in a pre-season friendly against Hashtag United, aged just 16 years and 11 days.

Jarnail said the timing of the occasion brought additional “positivity” and also demonstrated that British South Asians can compete at the top levels of The Beautiful Game – and succeed.

Sunny had plenty of friends and family at the game cheering him on at Sixfields, with one notable omission – his younger brother Bhupinder, who is an assistant referee himself and was working on a Sky Bet Championship game.

Last season, Sky Sports News revealed that Jarnail’s sons Bhups and Sunny Singh Gill made history as the first pair of British South Asians to preside over a league game.

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Bhups and Sunny Singh GIll made history in Bristol City v Nottingham Forest as the first pair of South Asian referees to officiate a league game.

Jarnail added: “I think the future is very bright, especially in terms of refereeing and the funding and development opportunities that are now available. It’s a passion for the boys. They started refereeing and 10.13 years later, line, they are both officiating at a pretty decent level now.”

Webb: Bhups and Sunny excelled

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World Cup final referee Howard Webb predicts big things for Bhups and Sunny Singh Gill

Former Premier League match official Howard Webb, who refereed the 2010 World Cup final, says Sky Sports News last year that Sunny and Bhups have everything they need to reach the top of their game.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to see the progress Sunny and Bhups have made in the game. I’ve had my eye on them for a while,” Webb said.

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Sky Sports News presenter Tom White has announced that Bhups and Sunny Singh Gill will become the first pair of British South Asians to officiate in the same Championship match.

“I’ve been going back to their dad for a while, we worked together in the Football League. And Jarnail Singh, apart from being a very, very good referee, is just a great guy. It was always a pleasure to work with him.

“They [Bhups and Sunny] are athletic, they know how to manage people, all those skills you need to be successful. If you don’t have them, you don’t survive in the professional game. These guys did more than just survive, they excelled and I think they will continue to do so.

“Both have been through those tough local football yards and then progressed through the different levels and probably feel like at some point they want to pack their bags because the day at the office hasn’t been easy. , but they persevered through these tough times.

“I know their dad will be so proud. They’ve made good progress and they’re still on the right track. They still have a lot to do. I’m sure they’ll enjoy every step.”

British South Asians in football

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