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.

Economic returns predicted for biennial FIFA World Cup

biennial FIFA World Cup

Two independent studies have suggested that FIFA’s economic situation would be dramatically improved if both men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups switch to a biennial format.

The findings, from Nielsen and OpenEconomics, were presented in front of 207 of a possible 210 of FIFA’s member associations (MAs). The presentation took place at the FIFA Global Summit and was staged as the ‘latest step in the future of football’.

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino:

“We have been advised by independent experts that a switch to a biennial FIFA World Cup would provide a combined additional USD 4.4 billion in revenue from the first four-year cycle, with these funds being distributed across our 211 member associations,” he said.

“This additional revenue would allow solidarity funding to move from the current level of USD 6 million per cycle to up to potentially USD 25 million on average per FIFA member association in the first four-year cycle, with the actual distribution being subject to FIFA’s governance principles.”

Based on the findings, the following economic boosts would occur:

  • A USD 3.5 billion (4.9 billion AUD) solidarity fund would be established with revenues to be distributed to all MAs, to inject an average of up to USD 16 million (22 million AUD) to every MA, while also retaining a capacity to mitigate against any financial shortfalls suffered by any MA due to the international match calendar changes.
  • FIFA’s Forward distribution for every MA would increase by 50% to USD 9 million (12 million AUD) per cycle.

  • The overall uplift for world football would be in the region of USD 6.6 billion (9.1 billion AUD) in the first four-year cycle.
  • A biennial cycle for the men’s World Cup would produce a gross domestic product (GDP) gain of more than USD 180 billion (249 billion AUD) over a 16-year period, while generating two million full-time jobs.

FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger:

“FIFA’s commitment to the future of football remains resolute, as we want to give every talent a chance, and to create the right environment to deliver on that promise through our competitions,” he said.

“We want to reorganise the international match calendar, especially to promote and improve football, while respecting all stakeholders – and that begins with the players themselves, by introducing a mandatory rest period.”

As part of his plan, national-team fixtures would be grouped together under a new international match calendar, leading to less travel for the players.

FIFA is planning for more consultations with confederations and MA’s early this year, with the opportunity to explore the idea in further depth.

FIFA’s commercial partnership structure unlocks opportunities

FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

For the first time in eight years, FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

Three partnership variables have been launched which include women’s football, men’s football and Esports/gaming. As a starting point, brands will now be able to negotiate dedicated partnerships with women’s football and Esports.

FIFA are building on their Women’s Football strategy implemented from 2018, by launching a dedicated women’s soccer commercial vertical to show their commitment to making soccer more accessible for women and girls across the globe. Their main aim from this vertical is to accelerate the growth and equality of the women’s game.

As for opportunities that provides for Australia, it could be a key driver for broadening the business side in women’s soccer, as well as the ever-growing Esports.

FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman:

“This marks a groundbreaking moment to maximise the growth of the women’s game and its marketing appeal, as we create equal commercial models across Women’s and Men’s Football for the first time,” she said.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for brands who want to support women’s sport, help accelerate women’s equality, and wish to align themselves with the unparalleled momentum around women’s football.”

A dedicated partnerships structure for Esports will allow FIFA to further broaden its gaming footprint. The structure provides exciting opportunities to participate in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Overall, FIFA’s new partnership structure includes the following:

  • All partners will receive extensive global commercial rights across national team tournaments.
  • Sponsors will receive global activation rights surrounding the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and/or across all FIFAe competitions.
  • Tournament Supporters will be able to select territorial activation rights for any of the above listed tournaments.
  • FIFA partners continue to hold the highest level of association with global partner status and category exclusivity across competitions.
  • FIFA’s new commercial approach will enable brands to benefit from new opportunities to associate with FIFA’s brand for business-driven purposes

FIFA Chief Commercial Officer, Kay Madati, on the impact these changes will make:

“As we continually work to make football truly global, accessible and inclusive, we recognised the need for a nimble and customisable commercial structure that enables brands big and small, global and local, to connect with all aspects of the beautiful game,” he said.

“The new model will allow our partners to create more tailored programming and marketing activations that align directly with their strategic business goals, and connect them to the world’s most passionate fans, in the world’s most engaging sport.”

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