Head of Women Referees at FIFA Kari Seitz says she wants footballers not to see the referees as women “forget we are women on the pitch, just see us as referees.” Seitz was speaking exclusively to www.aclsports.com at the 56th opening day of the Maurice Revello Tournament in Toulon, South of France
The Maurice Revello 2022 Tournament is the first edition with an all-women match officials for the Men’s matches. Kari Seitz tells how it came about “I was introduced to Alain Revello by a mutual and as I have always been on the look out for an opportunity to get more competitive matches for our women.”
Seitz, a retired elite referee herself expands on the choice of this Tournament “this is a tournament with great history, great atmosphere and great location. It is also one in which the football is very strong which we need to prepare our women for FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
Alain Revello was very keen on having the women officiate after meeting with Seitz “We started discussions in 2019.” Really? “Yes” the retired American Elite Referee said “It has been long in planning and as you know Covid-19 disrupted so much but we eventually got here for this year.”
As it is a FIFA officiated tournament, there are referees from all the Confederation zones of the World. “We are very proud of all the referees that are here” says Seitz “Part of my job includes changing how people look at women referees. The six officials that will be making history at the Qatar 2022 World Cup will show how far women have come in this role in football.”
There is an authority in Seitz voice and demeanour when she talks about her role, but you also feel her excitement (Like many do on bet9ja promo code for today) when she talks about the qualities of the referees in her care from all around the world. For the referees here in the South of France she says “As we observe them we are looking at not just them knowing the rules of the game but we want to see that they have a feel for the game.”
“We want to see how they are managing the game, that they know football very well, that they are able to control the game without issuing yellow cards around. We are also looking at excellent fitness because these players are fit and they must be able to cope with that.
The referees are here to make the game safe for the players. It is part of our training and instructions to the referees, so these are the things we are looking at and we expect this tournament to test our referees enough.”
With so many referees from all around the world, how important is it for a match official to be from a country with a strong domestic or continental football? “When I’m selecting for the World Cup I am selecting from all over the world because it is the World Cup” says Seitz again in that firm, friendly but authoritative voice. “Since the World Cup is going to involve players from around the world it is equally important for us that we develop referees in Asia, in Africa as it is in North America.
I am looking for all these confederations to support women referees on the same level; we are looking at aligning all these properly. What I am looking for and expecting of the referees from all over is consistency. Consistency in their decisions on the pitch no matter what country or confederation they are from.”
Does she think for women referees receive fewer talkback from men footballers? “Not really. It also depends on the culture of the players. Briefly, max first forty-five minutes the players might just be quiet but later they will let you know if they think you are a poor referee – even if you are not, they will still say. While we would like respect; as referees, we know it is difficult to get it from players