Oceania won’t just be represented on the field at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Anne-Marie Keighley has been appointed as a referee the tournament, while fellow New Zealander Sarah Jones and Maria Salamasina from Samoa have been named as an assistant referees.
It won’t be the first World Cup for all three. Keighley has officiated in the last two tournaments, as well as the 2016 Olympic Games, while Jones and Salamasina are attending their second.
Salamasina has long been part of the OFC team, assisting at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in 2022 and FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in 2018. Jones was at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the 2016 Olympic Games, the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay in 2018, and more recently the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
Keighley, Jones and Salamasina join a team of 107 officials, 33 referees, 55 assistant referees and 19 video match officials (VMOs,) that will control the World Cup games.
According to chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee and former top referee Pierluigi Collina, the preparations for match officials for the tournament was going well.
“Even though the pandemic affected our activities, we had enough time to provide the candidates with good preparation,” he said.
“As we did for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are announcing these selections well in advance to be able to work in a purposeful and focused manner with all those who have been appointed for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, monitoring them over the coming months.
“From the selected referees, we expect a rigorous and focused preparation for the Women’s World Cup.”