January 9 – FIFA’s Referees Committee has announced the 33 referees, 55 assistant referees and 19 video match officials for the Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.
The officials are dubbed ‘FIFA Team One’ and have been chosen in cooperation with the six confederations, said FIFA, “based on the officials’ quality and the performances delivered at FIFA tournaments as well as at other international and domestic competitions in recent years.”
Six female VMOs have also been selected, the highest for any FIFA tournament to date. All the selected referees and assistant referees are female.
“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected on-field match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” said the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina.
FIFA began its referee project for the 2023 World Cup in 2020, with more than 170 candidate match officials selected for training.
“Even though the pandemic affected our activities, we had enough time to provide the candidates with good preparation. As we did for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are announcing these selections well in advance to be able to work in a purposeful and focused manner with all those who have been appointed for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, monitoring them over the coming months,” said Collina.
In January and February, the selected match officials will participate in preparatory seminars (in Doha and Montevideo), reviewing and analysing video clips of real match situations and taking part in practical training sessions with players.
“With critical time lost due to the pandemic in preparation for the Women’s World Cup, we developed some new programmes to accelerate our referee development, such as our very effective Tracking & Support programme, where each referee candidate was assigned a FIFA coach who provided feedback on their matches each month. This programme will continue to be critical in the final phase of preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said Kari Seitz, FIFA’s Head of Women Refereeing.
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