Bhupinder Singh Gill Becomes First Sikh to Officiate in a Premier League Match

Bhupinder Singh Gill scripted history during the Premier League match between Southampton and Nottingham Forest.

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Bhupinder Singh Gill became the first Sikh-Punjabi to officiate in an English Premier League match, when he served as the assistant referee in the game between Southampton and Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, 4 January.

The 37-year-old former physical education teacher is the son of Jarnail Singh, who was English football league system's first turbaned referee, having officiated more than 150 matches in the second division.


Proudest Moment of My Journey: Bhupinder Singh Gill

Speaking to The Guardian, Gill said “This has to be the proudest and most exciting moment in my refereeing journey, but I’m not getting carried away as it is just another step in the direction to where I want to get to.”

“My dream has always been to reach the top of the game, be a role model for future officials and encourage more people from diverse backgrounds into officiating, especially from a South Asian background just like me," he further added.

A Family of Referees

Bhupinder hails from a family of referees. His father, Jarnail, took part in a Premier League match as a fourth official besides his usual duties in the EFL Championship. The proud father was in attendance when his son scripted history.

Bhupinder's brother, Sunny Singh Gill, joined the EFL as a referee earlier this year, and became the first British South Asian to referee a game since his father Jarnail.


On being asked about his son's achievement, Jarnail said Sky Sports "For the Sikh community and all South Asians who dream of a career in the game, seeing Bhupinder officiate in the Premier League is absolutely massive."

"As a father, you can imagine I am very proud to see Bhupinder in the Premier League. It's every father's dream to see their children succeed, and do better than them, and achieve more - whether that is in terms of family life, education or sport."

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