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Hauata returns on a high

Hauata recently returned to the golden sands of Tahiti from the equally famous shores of Brazil where he was one of two Oceania referees to be appointed for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Brazil.
Having earned several FIFA appointments in the past, the experience was far from new, but Hauata says it will remain the most memorable.
“The World Cup is something else,” he exalts.
“It’s not like a normal championship, it’s unique. In addition it was in the home of the round ball – it was magic.”
While he never made it into the middle of the park, Hauata received a number of appointments to the role of fourth official – including the second match of the tournament between Mexico and Cameroon in Natal.
“To be a fourth official is more of an adminstrative role and also means picking up any fouls that might be committed behind the referee’s back, or the referees,” he explains of his role.
“The fourth official supervises anything that is outside of the trio’s range. It’s a lot of work all the same, people always say that the fourth is always just sitting at the table, but it’s more than that.
“It’s very difficult and personally I’m more comfortable when I’m the referee in the middle than when I’m the fourth official.”
Hauata describes the process of a match as nerve-racking but incredibly enjoyable.
“You’re nervous before, during and after but as soon as the match is finished it’s a huge relief. You want to know if you’ve had a good match, or maybe you’ve had a bad one or average.
“It’s not easy at this level either because there is the stress, and the tension increases each time. But what I love about refereeing is that when you leave the field there is a lot of congratulations. Even the team that loses, they’ll come and congratulate you at the end of the match and that’s super.”
While there are plenty of experiences, people, matches and performances that Hauata will take from his time spent in Brazil, one that rests at the forefront of his mind is his time spent in the hallowed Maracana.
The stadium played host to his compatriots during the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013, and like them, he was in awe of his surroundings.
“The day that we went to visit the Maracana, the most recognised stadium in Brazil, was with no supporters or fans,” he describes.
“You’re there, looking at this massive stadium with all these seats inside. The television, the dreams, they’re finished because you’re there in the reality.
“And then when you see the whole stadium with all those seats full – it’s magic.”
While he will have plenty of fond memories to hold on to from this trip, Hauata is hoping to add yet more to his growing resume.
He’s hoping to be in New Zealand when the cream of the world’s youth crop arrives for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015, he’s also eyeing the 2016 EURO’s and, all going well, would like a ticket to Russia 2018.
For more about Tahiti football go to www.ftf.pf

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