For The First Time — There Will be a Female Referee at this Year’s FIFA U17 World Cup in India
In line with FIFA’s objective to further develop women’s football, a new milestone has been achieved in India as Esther Staubli is set to become the first female referee to officiate a match at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.
Soccer News: It is about time. After all, women and men as supposedly equal on and off the soccer pitch. Finally, there will be a female referee officiating at the U17 FIFA World Cup in India.
Women in soccer have long suffered the grass ceiling — a phrase penned by U.S Youth Soccer’s Sam Snow for what is otherwise known as the glass ceiling.
Moya Dodd has worked tirelessly to even the playing field between men and women in the world of soccer — and, as the Australian football official and former national team player turned lawyer, she has made more of an impact on FIFA than anyone else. Regardless of being sidelined by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from the FIFA Council seat reserved for women at the moment, common sense dictates we thank Dodd for her many contributions to furthering women in the game.
Small steps in the vast world of the beautiful game, but nevertheless a positive moment. Here is the Press Release from FIFA:
The announcement that Esther Staubli would officiate the U17 FIFA World Cup came following her appointment as the referee for the encounter between Japan and New Caledonia to be played on 14 October at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata.
Staubli is one of seven women referees invited to the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 India where all the male and female match officials, nominated by FIFA’s Referees Committee, have completed a host of activities together in a series of seminars, including theoretical sessions in the classroom and practical sessions on the field of play.
The benefits of joining forces are mutual when men and women team up to hone their interpretation, positioning and decision-making abilities. Another positive aspect is that the women referees have an opportunity to gain more experience.
High-level competition matches are often limited during the year in their respective regions and so such opportunities are crucial as the referees prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.
In having the opportunity with the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, FIFA’s female referees are one step further in their preparation and in their careers at the top level.
That FIFA has selected female referees for a men’s tournament is a logical consequence of an education program that FIFA’s Refereeing Department started in 2016.
The positive results and improvements seen in the joint preparations have shown that the time has come for elite female referees to officiate in men’s competitions.
The list with the 21 trios of match officials appointed for the FIFA U-17 World Cup is available here.