Three female referees from the Oceania region have received the call-up to officiate at the upcoming FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup™ between August 10-28 in Costa Rica.
New Zealand referee Anna-Marie Keighley will be joined by assistant referees Sarah Jones (New Zealand) and Maria Salamasina (Samoa).
The FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 54 all-female match officials, the first time it has been done for one of their tournaments.
The OFC trio previously worked together at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ in France, while Keighley and Jones were also at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ together where Keighley refereed the semi-final between Japan and England in Edmonton, Canada.
Keighley first refereed an international tournament in 2010 including five FIFA World Cups and the Rio Olympic Games 2016.
Jones has made progressive steps in refereeing as she officiated the Rio Olympic Games, the Algarve Cup and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup™ in Uruguay where she was Assistant Referee for the Uruguay v Finland pool game in Maldonado.
She’s currently refereeing in the Australian A-League competition.
Salamasina officiated at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup last-up and was part of the trio who officiated the final between New Zealand and Fiji.
OFC Head of Refereeing Kevin Stoltenkamp said it’s another opportunity for the match officials to be role models for all women in the Pacific.
“This is another step in their journey to hopefully represent the Oceania region at the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™,” Stoltenkamp said.
“They have worked extremely hard during the pandemic which has provided them with many challenges to continue preparing for the international competition.
“Their professionalism, dedication and commitment together with the support from their respective Member Associations has seen them strive to achieve their dream, to officiate at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.”
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022™, which was originally planned for 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing border restrictions.