Football Australia have announced that four Australian match officials have been chosen as candidates to possibly officiate at the 2023 Women’s World Cup on home soil.
Australian female referees Kate Jacewicz, Casey Reibelt and assistant referees Sarah Ho and Joanna Charaktis will be required to fulfil a range of criteria over the next three years (in what FIFA is calling a ‘Road to AUS/NZL’ project), to be in with a chance to be selected on FIFA’s final panel of match officials for the 2023 tournament.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said it is a great opportunity for the four match officials to officiate at a World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“We are thrilled to learn of the selections of Kate, Casey, Joanna, and Sarah as part of FIFA’s ‘Road to AUS/NZL’ project,” he said.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023 will be a tournament of firsts, and while numerous match officials have represented Australia at FIFA Women’s World Cups in the past, Kate, Casey, Joanna, and Sarah have the opportunity to be the first to do so on home soil and in doing so lift the profile of Australian referees and match officials.
“Australians from many of areas of the game will be central to the delivery of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, and just like the Westfield Matildas, we are committed to doing everything we can to support our match officials on their paths to 2023.
“In the XI Principles for the future of Australian football we highlight our commitment to anchoring the growth of Australian football in women’s football. We are particularly focused on development pathways for our referees and match officials, and encouraging women and girls to take up opportunities to become referees and match officials. The involvement of Kate, Casey, Joanna, and Sarah in FIFA’s ‘Road to AUS/NZL’ project will provide the next generation of young match officials with champions to look up to.”
Jacewicz and Reibelt officiated at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, whilst Ho was involved in three previous Women’s World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2015. If successful, Charaktis will referee at her first World Cup in 2023.