THE young generation would have known about other countries having football and hockey legends but what they would not have known was that Malaysia had a double accredited official, S. Kathiravale, who passed away at his home in Taman Yarl in Old Klang Road yesterday.
Kathiravale, a Fifa-accredited referee and an International Hockey Federation umpire from 1968 to 1980, was 84.
Kathiravale blows his last whistle
OCM vice president Datuk Roy Rajasingham, who is also Kathiravale’s close friend, said he was loved by all in the fraternity.
“He achieved great heights in football and hockey and brought fame to the country by being the first Malaysian world-class referee and umpire,” he said.
Rajasingham said Kathiravale had contributed a lot for football and hockey as an official. He was a mentor to the younger generation of referees and umpires.
“As a close friend, Kathiravale was the most jovial person I have ever met. He always makes people laugh and made sure they were always happy with him,” he said.
Kathiravale, who is an Arsenal supporter, started out as a linesman and graduated to become an international referee during his 48 years in the sport.
He officiated at 33 matches, including Malaysia’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal, at Merdeka Stadium in 1975.
At the continental level, Kathiravale officiated the final match between Iran and South Korea in the 5th Asian Cup in Bangkok, Thailand in 1972, and the first Women’s Asian Cup final between Thailand and New Zealand in Hong Kong in 1975.
In 1978, he was a senior linesman at the 8th Asian Games football final between South Korea and North Korea in Bangkok.
Kathiravale was also the referee for the Japan-South Korea qualification match in Tokyo, Japan for the 1978 World Cup.
Former The Malay Mail sports editor Tony Mariadass said Kathiravale was an icon during his reporting days.
“He has a unique way of presenting himself. He could pass down a message from a joke ... that’s how brilliant he was,” said Mariadass.
Kathiravale, a teacher by occupation, made time for Mariadass by teaching him about the rules and regulations of football and hockey.
“He knew the law of the sports at his fingertips. Two weeks ago, I rang him up to ask about the abandoned FA Cup semifinal match between Pahang and Darul Takzim FC. He was sharp for his age,” said Mariadass.
Kathiravale served as an AFC International Referee Instructor from 1975 to 2000 (one of the first three AFC instructors) and Fifa-accredited referee Instructor from 1986 to 2000.
In hockey, he started as a ball boy before becoming Razak Cup tournament director in 2002.
The funeral was held at Loke Yew Crematorium at 5pm yesterday.
Among those who paid their last respects were C. Paramalingam, 1975 Malaysian hockey team captain Datuk Sri Shanmuganathan, K. Balasingam, R. Pathmarajah, S. Balasingam, Stephen Van Huizen, Malaysian Hockey Confederation deputy president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad, FA of Malaysia assistant general secretary Datuk Ahmad Fuad and Olympic Council Malaysia secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi.
Kathiravale leaves behind wife S. Sarasvathi and three sons, K. Ananthavel, Dr K. Sivakumar and K. Sivapalan.