Tonga’s Tevita Makasini has been appointed as an assistant referee for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic, running from 20 May to 11 June 2017.
Makasini will join the Vanuatu and New Zealand U-20 national teams as representatives of the Oceania region at the youth competition.
Grateful for another opportunity to officiate on the world stage, Makasini has been pushing himself the extra mile during his preparation, determined to make his country and region proud.
‘’I can’t even remember how many tournaments I’ve been appointed to, but I am thankful that I’m still getting the call,’’ he said.
“I’ve made many sacrifices to improve and maintain my fitness and I’ve worked hard to improve my performance and to gain more confidence so I can perform well during the World Cup.
‘’I will definitely go out and give my best, because it will give me more chance of being selected for tournaments in the future.”
The experienced referee acknowledged the support and development of the Tonga Football Association Referee Department for providing pathways for Tongan referees.
‘’I wish to mention the hard work conducted by the Referee Department of Tonga Football at the Academy every week. I’m sure I only reached this stage because of their great direction. There are a lot of new crew that have just joined and I am so happy to have them on board.”
Tonga Football Association Head of Referees Tevita Vea was overjoyed to have someone as devoted to the game as Makasini to receive another call-up from FIFA.
“I wish there were more referees like Tevita because he is a hard working guy with very good discipline,” Vea said.
“I wish Tevita the very best on his appointment and I’m sure his will do his best as an ambassador of Tonga at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.”
Makasini started his international referee career in 2006, officiating OFC competitions, before becoming a FIFA match official in 2007.
Since earning his FIFA badge, Makasini has officiated at two Olympic Games – Beijing in 2008 and Rio in 2016 – and at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, as well as three FIFA Club World Cups in 2010, 2014 and 2015. He was also appointed as a match official for the 2009 and 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cups.
The 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic will be Makasini’s second U-20 World Cup after officiating at the 2015 edition in New Zealand.
Makasini hopes his success on the world stage will encourage more Tongans to pursue refereeing and strive to reach the elite level.
‘’I invite the youth of Tonga to come out and try football refereeing. It is a great challenge and it will lead you to a great career in the future.”