Trio waving flag for Oceania referees

Fijian referee Finau Vulivuli is being joined at the tournament by assistant referees Wantin Yagum of Papua New Guinea and Jacqueline Stephenson of New Zealand.
Vulivuli and Stephenson have worked together at several international events including the 2011 Algarve Cup in Portugal and the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.
They were part of a history-making trio in Germany where, along with Tonga’s Lata Tuifutuna, they became the first non-Australian OFC match officials to referee at a FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Vulivuli, with Stephenson and Tuifutuna as assistant referees, controlled the Group A action between Nigeria and Canada in Dresden and was also fourth official for both the Norway-Equatorial Guinea and Sweden-Korea DPR group games.
The Savusavu-based school teacher will be hoping there will be no repeats of the challenging situation she faced in Germany, where a floodlight failure plunged Rudolf Harbig Stadion into darkness with 20 minutes left to go in the Nigeria-Canada match.
She is feeling confident of a good outing ahead of the tournament.
“I’m looking forward to the U-17 FIFA World Cup and hopefully I will do well. This is another huge step for me in my career,” she says.
Meanwhile Yagum has been gaining experience officiating at a number of OFC women’s competitions since making her debut in 2006 at the OFC U-20 Women’s Championship in Samoa.
Oceania will also be represented at the U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup by New Zealand’s Young Football Ferns who face Mexico first up at Bayil Stadium, Baku on September 23 at 10pm NZT.
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