Twana Khalid, a 28-year asylum seeker, is refereeing football matches while he awaits the resolution of his case, Icelandic football website fótbolti.net reports. Twana, who is from Iran, has experience from refereeing as he was a referee in the Persian Gulf Pro League, the top division in Iran.
Gunnar Jarl Jónsson, a former FIFA referee on behalf of Iceland, has assisted Twana with finding matches. Twana arrived in Iceland with his wife and two children, with one more on the way as his wife is currently pregnant. The family applied for asylum but their application was rejected by the Directorate of Immigration due to the family having arrived from Germany.
Twana has hitherto refereed two youth matches during his stay, but Gunnar Jarl is working to find further projects for him. The accompanying photos were taken when he refereed the match between the U-20 squads of Reykjavík based teams Fjölnir and KR, in which he performed well. The match took place in KR area, but Twana currently resides nearby the field.
"He enjoyed refereeing in these two games. He has experience from the top division in Iran and has completed FIFA courses in his homeland, so it is clear he is an experienced referee. I have spoken with Magnús Jóns, head of refereeing, and Fannar, the fitness coach, to request that Twana train with the Icelandic referees", Gunnar Jarl commented. He went further, stating "Hopefully his appeal will be resolved by the Directorate of Immigration, and his family will receive asylum in the country. It is my opinion that it would be positive for the community to receive people like this to this country".