FIFA referees in Zurich
Final selection course for 51 candidates
In early April, the FIFA Referees Committee, chaired by FIFA Vice-President Angel Maria Villar Llona, drew up a list of prospective referees for the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007, which will take place in the cities of Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan from 10 to 30 September. The list was based on assessments conducted at the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Algarve Cup tournaments, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship 2006 and a selection course held on the Canary Islands in January 2007. The 51 candidates met at the Home of FIFA from 7 to 11 May for a final selection course.
The prospective officials followed the example set by their male counterparts in the run-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup TM by completing an intensive programme to prepare them for the biggest event in women’s football, which takes place every four years, the objective being to ensure that the match officials give the best possible performances in the final competition. During the course in Zurich, the candidates were required to take part in practical training sessions, and they were also asked to complete theory tests on the Laws of the Game as well as physical examinations and an English language test.
The experts who scrutinized the 51 candidates from five confederations were all impressed by the officials’ performances – as was Villar Llona. “The referees have undoubtedly made enormous progress in the recent years, as have their assistants,” said the Spaniard. “FIFA wants to provide female referees as well as their male counterparts with structured support to prepare them for their assignments.”
The chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee is also convinced that such improvements in preparation will pay off at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the People’s Republic of China. “I think we will see not only attractive football, but also good performances from the match officials. In short, we will start to reap the benefits of our work” stressed Villar Llona.