Fifty-one female officials today received the news they have been working towards for four years; the news that they have been selected to officiate at the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™.
The FIFA Referees Committee, under the chairmanship of Ángel María Villar Llona, has appointed 16 referees, 32 Assistant Referees, and three referees who will serve exclusively as Fourth Officials during the competition between 26 June and 17 July.
The road to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup began shortly after the conclusion of the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007. The International List containing over 500 female officials was cut down to 110 by the end of 2010, prior to the final selection process.
To determine which officials would travel to Germany this summer, FIFA embarked on a comprehensive programme. This has seen officials from across FIFA’s six confederations monitored and assessed at domestic, continental and international competitions, as well as through a series of practical and interactive training sessions. The officials have also been tested regularly for fitness, refereeing technique, as well as competency in the lingua franca of international refereeing (English), most recently by FIFA at the Algarve Cup tournament last month.
Sonia Denoncourt, Senior Refereeing Manager at FIFA has overseen the preparation of the officials, and was herself a referee at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cups and 1996 and 2000 Olympic Football Tournaments.
“A lot of these officials have sacrificed careers or starting a family to achieve their dream of working at a World Cup so to receive this confirmation is a just reward for all their hard work” said Denoncourt.
“The difference in support structures and tools now for the officials is far removed from 1995 when the majority of the officials were men, with just six female officials on the final list, including myself.
“Of this year’s final list, many of them have officiated at either a World Cup or Olympic Games before and with the support of technical staff, fitness instructors, physiotherapists and sport psychologists, we have done everything possible to ensure they are at the top of their game coming into the competition. This is what we want, but of course what the teams want too.”
For all the officials, their participation in Germany will be subject to one final fitness test to be held in Frankfurt approximately a week before the first match on 26 June in Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
A full list of the officials can be found in the attached document.