Sri Lanka football reached a milestone by reaching another FIFA World Cup status in refereeing. Although the Sri Lanka football team may take many years to attain World Cup dreams, the Federation has capitalized in other opportunities to take pride in global level.
This time the Sri Lankan top referee Dilan Perera who hails from Kalutara, has been among the top four referees in Asia to officiate in FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile to be held later this month.
The final selection was carried out by FIFA refereeing experts after analyzing hundreds of international referees in Asia for the four slots allocated to Asia. Perera proved his abilities at international level in over 150 games played all around Asia. He is now serving as a FIFA International referee for the past 11 years. The other three referees selected from Asian region are from Qatar, Malaysia and UAE.
Earlier this year, Perera was picked by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to officiate in the AFC Asian Cup 2015 which was held in Australia, the top most competition in Asian Football. He officiated in the Asian Cup with fellow Assistant Referee Palitha Hemathunghe from Gampola.
He has also officiated in many important international tournaments such as AFC U-22 Championship quarter-final, final in Oman, AFC U-19 Championship final in Myanmar, AFC Champions League 2014 pre quarter-final in Saudi Arabia and in first edition of Indian Super League (ISL) in 2014.
Perera enters into the history book to be the first referee to officiate in Asia Cup and in a FIFA U-17 World Cup, while an assistant referee Nimal Wickramatunghe had officiated in the FIFA World Cup – France in 1998.