AFC 2022 Asian Cup: Largest line-up of women match officials to be in action

Mumbai, Jan 6  The biggest-ever cast of experienced women match officials will be in action during the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 which will take place from January 20 to February 6 in India.

The Asia’s marquee women’s national team tournament will be played in three cities of Maharashtra — Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune.

“With the expansion of the showpiece to 12 teams, a total of 32 match officials, comprising 16 referees and assistant referees from 15 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) member associations, will take charge in potentially a maximum of 29 matches including the play-offs,” a media statement said.

From the contingent, as many as nine match officials were previously appointed to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Among those who were appointed in France 2019 are referees Casey Reibelt and Kate Jacewicz of Australia, China’s Qin Liang and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita and assistant referees Fang Yan of China, Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi of Japan and Kim Kyoung-min and Lee Seul-gi of Korea Republic.

Kim will be among the most experienced match officials as she is poised for her sixth straight appearance in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup followed by her compatriot Lee in what will be her fourth appointment in the tournament.

The trio of Yamashita, Bozono and Teshirogi, who made history as the first all-female referee team to take charge of a men’s club competition in the AFC Cup in 2019, will also play their part in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

This contingent of match officials includes three Indians – Ranjita Devi Tekcham (Referee), Fernandes Uvena (Assistant Referee) and Rebello Maria Piedade (Technical Instructor).

Meanwhile, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will make its debut in the tournament from the quarter-finals as well as potential play-off matches.

“An additional six video match officials will be appointed to the tournament, with the system being used across two venues in Navi Mumbai and Pune. The match officials and VAR were selected based on their skills, technical knowledge, management competence and physical fitness,” the statement said.

It also added that AFC has organised various workshops and training including VAR courses to ensure the highest standards of refereeing are maintained at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

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