Weeks before New Zealand play Costa Rica for a spot at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Oceania has its first confirmed representatives at the tournament with three match officials this week earning their ticket to football’s flagship event.
The FIFA Referees Committee has announced the list of names appointed for the FIFA World Cup, with Matthew Conger and Mark Rule of New Zealand and Tevita Makasini of Tonga among those named.
Conger is one of 36 referees selected, while both Rule and Makasini are among the 69 assistant referees heading to Qatar.
Conger and Makasini already have experience officiating in Qatar, having been on duty for both the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ in December last year and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Oceania Qualifiers. Rule also took part in March’s qualifiers.
A further 24 video match officials (VMOs) make up the full list of 129 match officials for Qatar. Included on the list are six women’s match officials, appointed for the men’s World Cup for the first time in history.
Selected match officials will participate in upcoming seminars and practical training sessions at locations including Paraguay, Spain and Qatar in preparation for the World Cup.
OFC Head of Refereeing Kevin Stoltenkamp paid tribute to the Oceania trio for going the extra mile to earn a place at the tournament.
“All three of them have made significant sacrifices in order to get to this tournament, including spending long periods away from home at times in order to get matches under their belt,” Stoltenkamp said.
“They have also worked extremely well as a team. They have pushed each other and encouraged each other right through what has been a difficult time for match official in Oceania.
“Much credit as well must go to their respective Member Associations who have supported them to operate at the elite level.”
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ takes place from November 21-December 18.
OFC match officials selected for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™:
Matthew CONGER (NZL)
Tevita MAKASINI (TGA)
Mark RULE (NZL)
A full list of match officials selected for this year’s FIFA World Cup can be viewed here.