AFC announce first ever female match commissioner

In a statement made earlier today. the AFC have announced that South Korean Kim Se-in will become the first ever match commissioner in their history.

The news comes as female match commissioners were announced for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup. Stephanie Frappart was also named as the first female referee for a men’s major UEFA event.

Clearly, the AFC want to stay up to date and frankly, we couldn’t be happier to see it.

Full statement below:

Korea Republic’s Kim Se-in will make Asian football history by becoming the first female match commissioner to take charge of the Asian Qualifiers Round 2 game between Guam and Maldives after FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed her appointment.

Kim will be joined by three other female match commissioners in the Asian Qualifiers – Nguyen Thanh Ha of Vietnam, Lau Cheuk Chi of Hong Kong and AFC Executive Committee member Kanya Keomany of Laos – who were confirmed by FIFA after being nominated by the AFC.

The appointment of the female match commissioners for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Joint Qualifiers underlines the AFC’s steadfast commitment to promote women in Asian football.

AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “The Asian football family is proud to have four female match commissioners appointed to manage the Asian Qualifiers. The AFC values the contribution of women in the sport and we will continue to support women in the workforce.

“The AFC encourages more women to take up the varied roles in football and we hope more will follow in the footsteps of all the women who have – and continue – to play pivotal roles in the success and development of the sport.”

It will be a proud day for the experienced Kim when she oversees the Guam and Maldives tie which will be played at the Guam FA Field on September 5 as 40 Asian countries begin their journey to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

The other female match commissioners will also play their part in future Asian Qualifier matches.

Kim, who is the Head of Public Relations for the Korea Football Association (KFA), said: “I’m surprised but also proud to be given this opportunity by FIFA and the AFC. I have experience of being a match commissioner in women’s competition, but I can expect a big difference between a men’s and women’s tournament, in terms of size and scale, so I’m excited with this opportunity. Although it is bit different but the fundamentals are still the same because it is all about football.

“In the past, there were no female match commissioners in Korea Republic, and that motivated me to be the first female match commissioner in my country. I’ve surpassed my expectations and it is great to see other women going for the match commissioner exams this year. I’m also happy to hear that some of our national players are also considering to become match commissioners after seeing how I achieved this.

“People need to believe that it doesn’t matter if you are female or male – you just need the proper talent and knowledge to be selected for a job. We must do our best and be willing to go beyond our comfort zones,” she added.

Kim has been involved in football for many years and has been a match commissioner in AFC women’s competition since 2017. She was also the team manager and head of administration for the Korea Republic women’s national teams.

She also served as a Media Officer in international competitions and in 2018 was appointed by the KFA as a general coordinator for Men’s A matches in Korea Republic.

In May, the trio of Japanese referees Yoshimi Yamashita alongside assistant referees Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi became the first all-female cast to officiate an AFC Cup match between Myanmar’s Yangon United FC and Naga World of Cambodia.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Football Victoria cancels competitions in Melbourne for 2021

The City of Greater Geelong has engaged with Football Victoria to further plans for a regional soccer centre.

Football Victoria (FV) have announced the cancellation of all metropolitan Melbourne competitions for the remainder of the 2021 season.

In a letter to the football community, FV CEO Kimon Taliadoros and FV President Antonella Care explained that the decision was made in the best interests of those who make the game what it is in Victoria.

“FV’s vision is to provide Football For All, Anywhere, Anytime, and alongside the valuable feedback of our stakeholders, this has continued to shape our decision making process. Importantly though, the safety of our community sits above all else, as our most important consideration for all football decisions throughout the pandemic.

“Our NPL and Competitions teams have worked day and night to produce an extraordinary body of work, planning multiple scenarios for every competition. This work is detailed, well-considered and milestone driven.

“We would like to express our gratitude to our football community, who have engaged in roundtable discussions, completed surveys and provided direct feedback to the team, all of which has been absolutely essential for us to best align with the needs of our community.

“Many of the planned scenarios have been eliminated in recent weeks, due to the key dates passing with extended lockdowns across the state.

“Unfortunately, the most recent Government announcement means our options to complete the 2021 season for our metropolitan Melbourne competitions have now reached an end.”

“We know this news is disappointing, particularly following last year’s abandoned season.

“Winter sport has borne the brunt of lockdowns and in turn, the impact on our football community has been immense. Our Clubs, Associations, Officials, Administrators, Volunteers and Players have bravely weathered the storm, rallying through each round of restrictions, showing a resilience that I know will keep our community strong through yet another challenge.”

As a result of the cancelled competitions in Melbourne, there will be no outcomes in regards to promotion and relegation between divisions. No premiers or champions will be crowned as well, as a result.

FV are still optimistic of a return to football for participants in Regional Victoria, subject to the easing of government restrictions and the governing body’s outlined conditions.

The organisation will also engage with clubs involved in the NIKE F.C. Cup and Dockerty Cup finals, to determine whether these games are able to be completed by the end of the year.

More information in regards to FV’s Fee Refund Policy will be sent out to the community by Friday, 17 September.

For further developments and to access other resources visit: https://www.footballvictoria.com.au/

W-League set for expansion ahead of 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The W-League is set to grow by three teams in time for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

The Australian Professional Leagues announced plans for expansion to Australia’s premier women’s football competition, with Central Coast Mariners, Western United and Wellington Phoenix set to join ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, set to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The expansion will be the competition’s first since 2015 when Melbourne City joined, with the exact timeline for the addition of these teams to be confirmed in the coming weeks by the APL, and will take the number of teams competing in the competition to 12.

Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix have aggressively pursued a W-League license for a number of years, whilst Western United, who joined the A-League in the last expansion of the men’s competition, have always earmarked their commitment to entering a team in the W-League as well.

The expansion means that the W-League Final Series will have an additional final – a Preliminary Final – which will reward teams finishing first and second with a ‘second chance’ on the road to the Grand Final.

Sarah Walsh, Head of Women’s Football at Football Australia, welcomed the news.

“Women and girls now have more choice than ever when it comes to selecting a sport to play in Australia. It’s imperative that Football continues to progress and evolve when it comes to providing greater access and opportunity for women and girls in football,” she said.

“With the W-League entering its 14th season and a commitment to broader expansion of the league, I am confident that we are taking the right steps forward as a game to ensure that football is the number one sport of choice for women and girls as we strive for 50:50 gender balance by 2027.

“Football has always provided women in football with a clear and accessible pathway to play for the Commonwealth Bank Matildas and junior women’s national teams. W-League expansion not only broadens these existing pathway opportunities, it additionally strengthens our national team aspirations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 and beyond.”

The expansion will deliver greater commercial opportunities, as well as playing opportunities, for football in Australia, according to APL Managing Director Danny Townsend.

“This is just the beginning of a sustained investment programme in women’s football – we announced unbundling just 8-months ago, and are already bringing more games, more players, better broadcast, improved employment conditions and enhanced footballing pathways,” he said.

“We want to unleash football’s potential in Australia and this is a significant step forward in delivering the future that the game deserves.”

A long-term collective bargaining agreement was also announced, to be finalised between the APL and the Professional Football Association, much to the delight of PFA Co-CEO, Kate Gill.

“The expansion of the competition is an important step forward and illustrates the confidence in the women’s game and the solid foundations that have been built,” she said.

“The players have been vocal advocates for the growth of the competition and positively APL’s women’s football strategy will not only provide additional employment opportunities and match minutes for our talented players but delivers a healthy boost to the W-League in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”

In addition to the new teams and expanded competition, the APL will also launch a new “Club Championship”.

The Club Championship will reward the club (not the team) with the most combined points at the end of the men’s and women’s seasons.

The new trophy is designed to bring together fans of the men’s and women’s games together.

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