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Harish Karki: youngest Nepalese referee at the national league

Harish Karki is the youngest referee at the Nepalese national league. But that doesn’t mean he is there yet. He needs to work even harder. “I have to do much more better than before to achieve my goal”. And Nepal does not have the regular league system. “I train almost 3 weeks a month and 1 week I officiate matches.” Read the exclusive interview with an ambitious young referee and get some interesting insights in refereeing in Nepal. 

Harish Karki
Harish Karki. Photo provided by referee

22 years old and national referee

Dear Harish Karki, please introduce yourself as referee.

Harish Karki: First of all,  I wanna give a big thanks to Dutch Referee Blog  for this great opportunity for letting me being in your blog. That’s  a great pleasure for me. I have been following your blog for 2 years. It has helped me a lot in my refereeing career. Thanks a lot.

My name is Harish Karki. I am a national referee from Nepal, which is located in South Asia. My age is 22. I have been a part of my All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) from the age of 18. I started my refereeing career from the age of 19. As I started my career I got huge opportunity from the start. It’s been 3 years on my refereeing field. I debuted officially from the District League, Redbull ‘C’ Division League Qualifiers, Interschool Cocacola Cup.

More challenges are coming

You’ve just been promoted as youngest national referee. Congratulations. How does it feel? What does it mean to you?

Harish Karki: Thank you for your warm wishes and all the beautiful people who have wished and supported me till now. I am happy for what, I have achieved. I see many more struggle, tackle and challenges in the upcoming days. So, I am taking the things for challenges upon me. I have to be updated with the Laws of the Game, prepare training schedules and make proper diet plans everyday. I have to do much more better than before to achieve my goal.

After, I have promoted I will get higher level and International matches in the upcoming days. It sounds really better to me through the promotion.

Love, hate and inspiring people

What did you do to achieve this milestone? (what did you do? how much effort/training do you put in?)

Harish Karki: I have awaited for many years to be at this stage. I have planned much more than this. So, I think that my career has now officially started. I am happy for this milestone I have made. It reminds me of the pain, struggle, love, hate, inspiring people, training and hard work i have been through.

I had always been preparing for this course, but it has not started yet because of the political instability of my association. But when I got notice that the course going to be held I had only few days to prepare myself. I worked hard, trained for 4-5 hours a day, maintained the diet plans. I wanna thank to my brother FIFA Referees Rojen Shrestha and Prakash Nath Shrestha for the training plans.

Small country: not many referees

How is refereeing in Nepal?

Harish Karki: It feels great to officiate the matches in Nepal. Recently, the association has held the election and the newly elected members are taking charge. It has been 4 years with none of the leagues in Nepal. But they have fixed the date of the A Division League which is going to be after 2 months.

So, in the last years clubs, District Associations used to organize Gold Cups, high cash prize tournaments. The craze of football in Nepal is too much that I can’t even explain. The stadium is always packed with great crowds. I love officiating here.

We have less numbers of Referees in Nepal. 12 FIFA Referees (including 2 women), 13 ‘A’ level Referees, 10 National Referees and 20-30 Active ANFA Referees.

3 weeks training, 1 week of games

What does a week as referee look like for you?

Harish Karki: In the context of our country, we don’t have regular leagues. As I said before we officiate most of the matches organized by the authorized clubs, District Associations, Event Management,  etc.

So from my side I manage these things in a professional way. I train almost 3 weeks a month and 1 week I officiate matches. We don’t have the 6-9 months leagues as like other countries.

I have my family business Shivapuri Greenview Restaurant and Hotel Blue Moon, of which I take care in my holidays. In my weekends I go hiking and gather around with my friends and families. I also go to gym for my fitness during my free hours.

The future for referees in Nepal

How often did you go to international youth tournaments/games and what makes that special?

Harish Karki: I haven’t gone for any international youth tournaments yet. But, planning for the upcoming tournaments / games. It is so hard for our country’s Referee to take part in international tournaments. There used to be AFC U-14 football tournament. I was a bit unlucky about this. This event was cancelled when I was preparing for this. But no worries, I will be doing a lot of hard work and will be making up for the great international matches. Even though our seniors do not get to travel for the senior international tournaments much because of past political instability of the association. Hope the newly elected members of the association will take care of this and bring these problems to an end.

Learn from international referees

You’ve worked with international referees. What are the best things you learned from them?

Harish Karki: I have worked only with my domestic FIFA  international referees. I mostly officiate with them. It was great pleasure working with them. I got a lot of knowledges, experiences and chances to learn different things too. Changes in lifestyle, behaviours, disciplines, confidence building, game management and many more are the things i have learned and been inspired from them. They try to inspire and motivate me through their experiences and support. I have brought better changes on myself about being disciplined, self-patience, confidence building and humble.

Refereeing is always a challenge

What are your biggest challenges as referee?

Harish Karki: First of all, as my point of view being as referee is always a challenging and tough job ever. I try to keep myself motivated all the time. I see my senior referees doing better. So, I see myself competing with them. That’s a great way for being always the best. Prajwol Chhetri(A Level Referee) is my biggest inspiration among the all. He is one of the promising referee of Nepal. He has always helped and inspired me to reach at this stage. I most of the time officiate with him and i love officiating with him as he supports a lot and builds up my confidence.

Harish Karki’s injuries

Dealing with injuries is the most frustrating part in refereeing career. As I was preparing for my National Refereeing Course, I was injured. I had slight hamstring problem on my right thigh. I was thinking to quit due to my injury but I did not give up and came up with this frustrating moment. “Pain is temporary, success is permanent” so at that moment I thought my dream of reaching the next level of my life should not be distracted by my injury. So, I put all my efforts to overcome this situation. I consulted to physiotherapist and took rest as he advised for about 2 weeks. I wanna thank my physiotherapist Dr. Suraj Bhusal for the treatment and great councelling at the time.  

Goals and ambitions

You’re now a national referee. What are your goals and ambitions as referee? And how will you reach them?

Harish Karki: I feel happy being a National Referee but I see a lot of challenges, tackles and obstacles in upcoming way of my life. So, i have to keep myself motivated, determined, concentrated, train hard than before, stick to my proper diet plans and keep myself updated to the Laws of the Game.

My goal is to bring the Elite Referee back to my country and my ambition is to be one the best referee of all the time in my continent with a lot of patience and inspiring capabilities. I want to be an inspiration for the new young referees.


Do you have any right free images that I may use in the blog?


You can use these photos for your blog. Though these photos has logo of goalnepal there in no problem using them.


Use this first photo as display picture if possible.


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