Match officials for France 2019 revealed
Kuala Lumpur: Five referees and eight assistant referees from Asia will represent the Continent as match officials in the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019, following FIFA's announcement on Monday.
Kate Jacewicz (Australia), Casey Reibelt (Australia), Qin Liang (China PR), Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan) and Ri Hyang-ok (DPR Korea)
Cui Yong Mei (China PR), Fang Yan (China PR), Hong Kum-nyo (DPR Korea), Makoto Bazono (Japan), Maiko Hagio (Japan), Naomi Teshirogi (Japan), Kim Kyoung-min (Korea Republic) and Lee Seul-gi (Korea Republic)
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The 13 referees equals the record number of appointments in the 2015 edition in Canada.
France 2019 also marks significant individual milestones for the officials, with Korea Republic's Kim Kyong-min primed to officiate in her fourth World Cup, matching the current FIFA Women's World Cup Project Leader Kari Seitz of the United States.
DPR Korea's Ri Hyang-ok (pictured below), who featured in two World Cups as a player, is set to make her second appearance on the world stage as a referee, and is accompanied by compatriot and assistant referee Hong Kum-nyo in her third edition.
It will also be a second World Cup for the Chinese trio - led by Qin Liang and her assistant referees Cui Yong Mei and Fang Yan - as well as Japan's Naomi Teshirogi.
The journey to the France 2019 began for an initial group of female referees and assistant referees from all over the world in September 2015, when FIFA officially started its Road to France 2019 women’s refereeing project.
As part of this project, preparatory seminars have taken place over the last three years for referees and assistant referees, focusing on protecting players and the image of the game, as well as on consistency in interpreting the Laws of the Game. Technical expertise, football understanding, fitness and the ability to read the game and teams’ tactical approaches to each match have been the main topics covered at these seminars.
The referees selected for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup, the most important competition in women’s sport, have demonstrated their skills at previous tournaments, including the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 and Uruguay 2018, as well as the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea in 2016 and this summer in Brittany, France.
Preparation will continue for the selected match officials between now and the start of France 2019. There will be a number of further preparatory seminars, while the FIFA referee instructors will carry out observation work and provide ongoing support and guidance. Every effort is being made to ensure that the officials will be 100 percent ready for the big occasion.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 will be played from June 7 to July 7 in Grenoble, Le Havre, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Paris, Reims, Rennes and Valenciennes. The final will take place in Lyon on Sunday, July 7 2019.