Sunny Singh Gill becomes first British South Asian to referee a Premier League game

Sunny Singh Gill has become the first British South Asian to referee a Premier League match by taking charge of Crystal Palace's home game with Luton at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The official had a quiet match, as Palace took an early lead before Cauley Woodrow equalised for Luton six minutes into added time at the end of the game.

He issued his first Premier League booking to Issa Kabore for a reckless challenge on Jefferson Lerma in the 27th minute, and showed his second yellow to Eberechi Eze for a pull on Reece Burke's shirt.

While there was little controversy on the pitch, he provoked a grumpy reaction from former Premier League referee turned Sky Sports pundit, Mike Dean, when he was seen signing autographs at half-time.

Dean complained on Soccer Saturday: "I did get autograph requests after 300 games! You should sign autographs before the game or after the game but not at half-time!"

Football writer Vai Bhardwaj said he was "extremely proud, as a fellow British Asian, to see Sunny Singh Gill become the first British South Asian to referee in the Premier League. A huge moment!"

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said, simply, "congratulations, Sunny!"

Football runs in Gill's blood, as he is the eldest son of league football's first turbaned Sikh referee, the trailblazing Jarnail Singh, who refereed more than 150 English Football League (EFL) matches across the divisions between 2004 and 2010.

Gill's brother, Bhupinder Singh Gill, became the first Sikh-Punjabi assistant referee to officiate in the Premier League when he ran the line in the match between Southampton and Nottingham Forest in January last year.

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Gill, a former prison officer, also made history in January by becoming the first British South Asian to referee a game between two Premier League teams when he was in charge of Brighton's FA Cup fourth round win at Sheffield United.

Sunny is the highest-ranked referee from a South Asian background in English football, and Bhupinder is the most senior assistant referee hailing from the community.