Dil Scoop with Pankaj Athawale
Football frenzy has caught on with Indians as the U 17 FIFA world cup is in progress. The DY Patil stadium at Navi Mumbai is witnessing group B clashes involving Mali, Turkey, New Zealand and Paraguay. Apart from the hard work put in by the referees on the field, on the sidelines women referees control most of the action.
Meet Kateryna Monzul from Ukarain, Ri Hyang Ok from North Korea and Carol Anne Chenard from Canada.
Carol Anne is based in Ottawa and has been a veteran. She has officiated at the Rio Olympics and was named referee of the year at the CONCAFF awards. She was appointed as the assistant referee during the Jubilee trophy championships final in 2004. She has officiated was appointed as a referee at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011, referee at the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver and at the London 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
Katreyna Monzul officiated her first international match in September 2005. She was voted world’s second best woman referee at the International federation of football history and statistics in 2014. She also holds a degree in Architecture and town planning.
Former player, Ri Hyang Ok played as a mid fielder for North Korean women’s team at the 1999 and 2003 FIFA women’s world cup.
Canadian Sonia Denoncourt began refereeing in 1978 at the age of just 14 and later decided to give up playing the game to further her career as a referee at the age of 22. Denoncourt became the first female FIFA accredited referee in 1994. She went on to referee the 1995, 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s world cup.
The 4th official generally manages the technical areas, substitutions, medical emergencies, record of cautions, send offs, displaying extra time, etc. Sounds simple, but in the big bad world of competitive football, managing the animated and enthusiastic managers is a task by itself. But these women referees are no easy push overs. They have managed the proceedings efficiently and made sure that managers are under control, medics are on field whenever the referee has indicated.
The U 17 FIFA world cup has brought back the focus on the beautiful game, but apart from passion for the sport, India needs more coaches and officials. Maybe the Indian women could pave way in this direction.