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Asia's assistant referees ready for France 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Kuala Lumpur: With less than a week to go before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off, profiles the Asian match officials who will be on duty in France.

Twelve match officials will represent the Continent and we kick off the series by profiling the assistant referees who will be on duty in France 2019.

Makoto Bozono (JPN)

Tokyo-born Bozono started her career in 2015 and has overseen AFC and International tournaments. She assisted compatriots Yoshimi Yamashita and Naomi Teshirogi to officiate the AFC Cup match between Myanmar’s Yangon United FC and Naga World, the first time an all-female team took charge of an AFC Cup tie.

“I’m very honoured at being selected for the World Cup. This being my first appointment for the World Cup, I’m very happy and will do my best with my team to have a successful tournament.”

Fang Yan (CHN)

The 40-year-old assistant referee from China PR will be making her second appearance in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and has been a mainstay in AFC tournaments since 2013. Among the tournaments she had officiated are the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the AFC U-16 and U-19 Women’s Championships.

“I’m very happy. The World Cup is our dream, I’m very happy for that. We have more games and we’re more experienced and now with the VAR technology, we will make correct decisions on the field.”

Maiko Hagio (JPN)

Haigo began her career in 2015 and has officiated in numerous AFC age-group tournaments as well as the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and the Women’s Olympic 2020 qualifying.

“It’s very inspiring to be selected for the World Cup. We have a dream, and it can be challenging but as a team, we will work together. Every match is very important for us and we will focus on one match at a time.”

Hong Kum-nyo (PRK)

Kum-nyo will take part in her third Women’s World Cup. The assistant referee from DPR Korea began her career in 2006 and has overseen several tournaments in the AFC as well as the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.

“This is very exciting and I will try to do my best. Since this is my third Women's World Cup, I feel more excited and don't feel the pressure. I've prepared physically, mentally and technically. I've been focusing on my physical because I'm older now so I've been training very often. I will treat every match in this World Cup as a final match.”

Kim Kyoung-min (KOR)

Korea Republic’s Kim Kyoung-min will be making her fourth appearance in the Women’s World Cup. The 39-year-old has overseen four AFC Women’s Asian Cup since 2008.

“My first World Cup was in 2007 and I was nervous but now I'm more experienced and I know how to prepare. This year they will introduce the VAR and in the beginning I was a little bit confused but after going through training, I understand it better now.

“It is good that we have VAR because teams and fans can see why and how the important decisions are decided.”

Lee Seul-gi (KOR)

Seul-gi began her refereeing career in 2005 and the 39-year-old will be making her Women’s World Cup bow in France. Seul-gi, alongside compatriot Kim Kyoung-min, recently officiated the 2019 AFC Cup match between Ceres Negros and Becamex Binh Duong.

“I'm very glad to see my name on the selection list. More importantly, now I feel like I'm an ambassador for referees in Korea Republic so I feel very proud. This is the result of all my hard work. My family was very happy for me because they saw how much effort and stress I've gone through. I'm lucky to have such strong family support.”

Naomi Teshirogi (JPN)

Teshirogi was part of the trio of Japanese referees alongside Yoshimi Yamashita and Makoto Bozono to officiate the 2019 AFC Cup match between Yangon United FC and Naga World. She will be making her second World Cup appearance in France.

“My first time at the World Cup was very stressful but now I feel relieved that I've been selected again. I have more experience now so that will be very useful in France. In the past, I felt nervous about VAR but I've gone through seminars to learn more about VAR and now I believe it is a good thing for referees.”