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May 15, 2019

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History as women to referee AFC Cup clash

The Asian Football Confederation announced yesterday that for the first time an all-female referee team will take charge of a men’s continental club cup clash.

Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita and assistants Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi will officiate the AFC Cup match between Myanmar’s Yangon United and Cambodia’s Naga World at the Thuwunna Stadium today.

“This will be the first time three female referees preside in the Asian Football Confederation’s club competitions, marking a new milestone in Asian refereeing,” the AFC said in a statement.

The AFC Cup is the second-string Asian club competition, a rung below the AFC Champions League.

Women officials have only previously been employed as assistant referees in AFC Cup matches, with Australians Sarah Ho and Alysson Flynn becoming the first in 2014.

“This is one of my dreams,” said the experienced Yamashita, who officiated in the 2016 and 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and 2018 Women’s Asian Cup. “We’ve worked very hard and this is the result.”

Yamashita joins the likes of Stephanie Frappart and Bibiana Steinhaus, who have officiated top flight men’s games in France and Germany, respectively.

Assistant referee Teshirogi said her appointment will inspire female referees in Asia while Bozono said the experience will help in her preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June, where the trio will be among 12 officials from the AFC.

“It is exciting to work with Yoshimi and Naomi. They are very experienced and have been very supportive. I will learn a lot from them,” Bozono said.

Meanwhile, UEFA said that Damir Skomina will be the referee for the UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Skomina has handled four UCL games this season, including Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain.

The 42-year-old Slovenian will officiate the final at the Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on June 1.

Skomina also refereed the Europa League final in 2017, when United beat Ajax Amsterdam.

He worked three games at last year’s World Cup and showed the fastest red card, sending off Colombia defender Carlos Sanchez for a handball in the fourth minute against Japan.




 

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