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In another first, Qatar World Cup will have women referees

In another first, Qatar World Cup will have women referees

Doha: Women referees will add one more first to the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Doha.

Football body FIFA has already featured many firsts for this time, especially changing the season of tournament from summer to winter.

All football world cups until now have been played in the summers.

Qatar is the first Middle East country to host a FIFA world cup awarded to it after a bidding process in 2010.

London based sports journalist Lu Wenao termed the introduction of women referees an underlining gender equality.

Lu Wenao, who previously worked for Chinese state media, also referred to equal pay move for both genders by USA Football teams.

As Qatar is busy getting ready for the World Cup in the midst of unprecedented building spree alongside raising most advanced infrastructure.

Fans in Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries are looking forward to the tournaments with great expectation

Rizwan Rehmat, a senior sports journalist based in Doha for more than two decades, believes it's a seminal moment for women's role in the game, going by the fact that it's a first for men's World Cup.

"However, the game is developing very fast and women's football has really picked up pace. So, the move to appoint women's referees for the upcoming World Cup doesn't surprise me, Rehmat added.

The country of 2.7 million people is a hive of activity amid growing concerns of rising house rents and rising prices.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has emphasised a "FIFA Cup of unity and peace," underscoring the value element of the beautiful game.

Infantino recently said in Doha: "This will simply be the best World Cup ever. The greatest show on Earth will have over three million spectators here and over five billion people watching it at home. The world will be united in Qatar and for this reason, my thanks go to the people of Qatar..."

The Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina said in a statement: "We are very happy that with Stephanie Frappart from France, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, as well as assistant referees Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina from Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt from the US, we have been able to call up female match officials for the first time in the history of a FIFA World Cup."

"This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men's junior and senior tournaments. In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women's match officials for important men's competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational. They deserve to be at the FIFA World Cup because they constantly perform at a really high level, and that's the important factor for us."

FIFA World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.

Source: IANS

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