New Zealand referees ready to officiate at FIFA Women’s World Cup

New Zealand referees Anna-Marie Keighley and Sarah Jones will make their first appearance at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup when they officiate in Friday’s match between Argentina and South Africa.

Aucklander Keighley will be joined by Waikato’s Sarah Jones and Samoa’s Maria Salamasina as assistant referees to represent the Oceania region for the match at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.

For Keighley, this will be her third FIFA Women’s World Cup, having previously officiated in Canada 2015 and France 2019. In the 2015 tournament, she became the first referee to lead five matches at one World Cup, including taking charge of the semi-final between Japan and England in Edmonton.

Jones also has prior World Cup experience, having been chosen for France 2019, as well as further international experience having officiated at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

Salamasina has been a long-standing member of the OFC officiating team and is making her second World Cup appearance, having been selected for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. She also joined Keighley and Jones as part of OFC’s officiating team at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Main photo: Referee Anne-Marie Keighley and assistant referee Sarah Jones, with fourth official Ben Aukwai at May’s OFC Champions League. Photo: Kirk Corrie / Phototek.

‘A big impact for match officials in the Pacific’

OFC Head of Referees Kevin Stoltenkamp said:

“Everybody has been talking about the impact of the World Cup on girls and women playing football but there’s also a big impact for match officials in the Pacific.

“With the success of the OFC Women’s Champions League in Papua New Guinea and the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Fiji this year, we’re starting to see the talent not just on the field but also with our women officials across the region.

“We hope seeing these officials on the world stage will encourage others to get involved across Oceania.

“It’s also just reward for Anna-Marie, Sarah and Maria, for the hard work and commitment they’ve shown over the last eight years, to ensure that they are on par with their fellow officials from confederations across the world.”

With both Argentina and South Africa having lost their opening Group G matches to Italy and Sweden, respectively, Friday’s match will be vital for both sides’ hopes of advancing to the Round of 16.


Game to be played on Friday July 28, 2023

Argentina (#28) v South Africa (#54)
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 12pm

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