FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Seven female referees picked to officiate for first time in men's event
In a historic first for international football, seven women officials have been picked as support referees for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India, which kicks off on 6 October.
New Delhi: In a historic first for international football, seven women officials have been picked as support referees for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India, which kicks off on 6 October.
"...For the first-ever time, FIFA has selected female referees for a men's tournament. The results and improvements seen in the joint preparations have shown that the time has come for the elite female referees to officiate in men's competitions together with their male colleagues," the event's organising committee said in a statement.
The FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 21 trios of match officials, representing all six confederations.
"For FIFA, it is essential to ensure that the best match officials from all around the world are selected for FIFA competitions," the organising committee stated.
For some of the selected match officials, the event will be an important step in their preparations for FIFA's flagship competition, the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"We think it's time for the elite female referees to be involved in a FIFA men's competition. They worked together with male match officials last year and now we want to see them working together in a competition," said FIFA Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca.
The referees have completed a host of activities together in several seminars, including theoretical sessions in the classroom and practical sessions on the field of play.
The match officials have also discussed and practised various game situations to achieve consistency and uniformity.
The under-17 World Cup will take place in Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Navi Mumbai and New Delhi between 6 and 28 October.
The final will be played at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on 28 October.
The support referees picked for the Under-17 World Cup: Ok Ri Hyang (Korea), Gladys Lengwe (Zambia), Carol Anne Chenard (Canada), Claudia Umpierrez (Uruguay), Anna-Marie Keighley (New Zealand), Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine), Esther Staubli (Switzerland).
The 25-year-old Gray joins from Bayer Leverkusen, where he had been on loan from Leicester. The contract, till June 2024, includes the option for a fourth year.
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No fee has been disclosed but British media reported value the deal at £34 million ($47 million) rising to £48 million with add-ons.