Gianni Infantino has congratulated the referees, assistant referees and video match officials (VMOs) for their performances at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, saying he is full admiration for them and that they have been fundamental to the success of the tournament.
A total of 33 referees, 55 assistant referees and 18 video match officials (VMOs) have formed part of Team One and those who are currently in Sydney/Gadigal, where the whole team has been based, were each presented by the FIFA President with a medal and certificate for their participation.
“You are role models to so many women over the world, you are examples, and you are making history,” said Mr Infantino. “You are doing a great job, it’s really appreciated and recognised by everyone. I am really full of admiration.”
His sentiments were echoed by FIFA Referees Committee Chairman Pierluigi Collina. “I’m particularly pleased that after 56 matches, the refereeing standard of the competition has been very good. It’s something that they have to be proud of, because they’ve worked very hard to be ready,” he said.
The FIFA President added that taking part at the tournament would give the match officials memories that they could cherish for life.
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“You are a fundamental part of the success of this World Cup because without you there is no World Cup. You are Team One,” he said. “It’s because of your skills, of your preparation and, from what I have seen, because you really enjoyed the matches, enjoyed the moments and savoured the atmosphere. These are emotions that you will be able to tell your children and grandchildren about. This is the experience of a lifetime to be here.”
The FIFA President congratulated the referees on dealing with the unexpected. “In football, when you have the feeling you have seen everything, something happens that you have never seen before and you have to take the right decisions when these things happen,” he said.
Referees at the tournament are announcing VAR decision to the crowd which, Mr Infantino said, made them pioneers. “This is something we are moving towards and it’s important for people to understand a little bit more of what you are doing … and the explanation of decisions goes a long way in that direction,” he said.