Referees stepping up their preparation for FIFA Women’s World Cup

Top referees Anna-Marie Keighley and Sarah Jones are in Qatar this week to step up their preparation for officiating at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The pair are being assessed and will train with others from the pool of 107 officials selected by FIFA for the World Cup tournament.

Main photo: Anna-Marie Keighley … included in the 33-strong list of referees and support referees for the WWC. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Sarah Jones deep in concentration at one of the FIFA sessions. Photo: FIFA.

Oceania’s third referee selected for the tournament, Maria Salamasina (Samoa) will also be at the session in Qatar which runs from January 30 – February 2).

They will return to New Zealand to officiate at the intercontinental play-off tournament in Auckland and Hamilton (February 17-30) that will decide the last three qualifiers for the World Cup.

The three Oceania officials took part in a training camp at OFC Home of Football at Auckland’s Ngahue Reserve late last year, with specific referee training sessions on the field of play, lectures on players’ management and behaviour followed by fitness testing sessions to track and monitor performance ahead of a busy schedule in 2023.

Sarah Jones is one of 55 assistant referees selected for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

OFC Head of Referees Kevin Stoltenkamp was impressed with their level of preparedness.

He told OFC Media:

“We are proud and happy to see our OFC women’s referee team making the 2023 World Cup.”

The referees have gone through numerous assessments, and competitions and dealt with various challenges during the last four-year period. They have shown great resilience, character and connection in refereeing, he said.

“They have worked hard to achieve the (high) requirements World Cup referees have these days by training daily, looking after their nutrition and recovery, as well as managing personal, work and family commitments in parallel to their refereeing career.”

READ MORE: Two New Zealand referees chosen to officiate at FIFA Women’s World Cup >>>>

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