The governing body of world soccer, FIFA, has published the list of referees who will perform different functions in the next Women’s World Cup scheduled to take place from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
Unfortunately, no Nigerian was deemed good enough to take on any of the available roles.
While Nigeria is not on the list, officials from Togo, Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, Zambia and Morocco are on the FIFA list made public on Monday.
Of the list of referees that has 33 selected, three of them are from Africa.
They are the referee from Rwanda who officiated at the men’s AFCON, Salima Mukansanga, Amedome Vicentia from Togo, Karboubi Bouchra from Morocco and Makalima Akhona from South Africa.
In addition, the 55-person assistant referees and 19-video match referees watched more than five Africans recruited by FIFA.
The coordinator of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, emphasized that the selection was made based on the “quality” of the referees.
“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected match officials on the pitch represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide.”
“We all remember the successful 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. The high level of refereeing contributed significantly to that success. The aim of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 is to repeat that success and convince again with the excellent performances of the referees.”
He further added that regardless of the obstacle caused by COVID-19 in 2020, the organizers were able to choose the best among more than 170 applicants.
“Although the pandemic affected our activities, we had enough time to provide good preparation to the candidates. As we did for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are announcing these squads well in advance so that we can work in a determined and focused manner with all those who have been nominated for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, monitoring them in the coming months. . .
“From the selected referees, we expect rigorous and focused preparation for the Women’s World Cup, a competition held in the highest regard by FIFA and its president.”
Meanwhile, Kari Seitz, FIFA’s Head of Women’s Refereeing, said the organizers will provide adequate resources to the shortlisted referees to keep them up to date on the tournament.
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“With the loss of critical time due to the pandemic in the preparation for the Women’s World Cup, we developed some new programs to accelerate the development of our referees, such as our very effective Follow-up and Support program, where each referee candidate is given assigned a FIFA coach who provided feedback. in their matches every month. This program will continue to be essential in the final phase of preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup”.
Colina concluded by saying that a series of training sessions on VAR analysis for referees will take place in both Doha, Qatar and the Uruguayan capital Montevideo between January and February.
“The development of women’s VAR has been vital to FIFA as part of the Road to Australia & New Zealand project, and we are pleased to have achieved this result. Since only a few women’s competitions use VAR, FIFA’s role has been to provide international gaming experience to women at the U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups, as well as encourage member associations that use VAR to certify your referees in this role and appoint them to matches as often as possible. While significant progress has been made, more work is still needed.”
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