As the year comes to an end the Oceania Football Confederation are counting down some of the best moments of 2021.
The journey to be part of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™ was s a trip into the unknown for New Zealand referees Chris Sinclair and Antony Riley, but one which delivered its fair share of rewards.
When the pair left New Zealand for Thailand on July 20 to take part in the Continental Futsal Championship as a build up to the World Cup, they did so with no promise of an immediate ticket home due to severe shortages in Managed Isolation Quarantine facilities.
They ended up remaining overseas ahead of officiating at the World Cup through September and October and didn’t secure an MIQ spot until December 20, meaning they spent exactly six months away from home.
The trip came with plenty of upside though, which included Riley and Sinclair officiating the tournament’s opening game and a quarter-final together, before Sinclair earned appointment as the third referee in the Final.