Challenge to become referee in 2022 world cup

AGENDA INTERNACIONAL AFP 7 DIAS

In Qatar, for the first time, women will referee for the most important men’s football tournament, including a Brazilian. Although she is proportionately short of referees, the change is seen as significant. The last time Brazilian Nuza Inés Back was in Qatar for a game, she was part of the refereeing team in the 2020 Club World Cup final, when the then European champions Bayern Munich beat Mexican giants Tigress 1-0 at Al Ryan. Santa Catarina has already played in the Brazilian Championship, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil, as well as the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. And in 2022 he was named by FIFA as an assistant at the World Cup in Qatar. This will be the first time women will referee games in the most important men’s football tournament. At the awards ceremony after the Club World Cup match, Sheikh Joan bin Hamad Al Thani of the Qatari royal family happily slapped male players and officials as they were passing them to collect their medals. But when Beck and his compatriot Edina Batista, who served as the fourth referee, went after him, Al Thani looked beyond the two women as though they were not present. While Islamic law forbids men from physically touching women outside their families, it does not prevent them from being polite, lowering their eyes, and making other gestures of respect. Photos of the incident quickly went viral. Organizers insisted it was a “small misunderstanding” related to Covid-19 hygiene protocols, but it was interpreted by Qatari critics as evidence that the country, with its strict laws, is not allowed to host sporting events. unsuitable for. Global. Now, Back is set to return to Qatar as one of six women on the men’s World Cup refereeing squad starting in November. His fellow assistants are Catherine Nesbit (USA) and Karen Diaz Medina (Mexico), while Stephanie Frapart (France), Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan) and Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) will serve as chief justices. New to the tournament comes in a controversial version, accusing the Middle Eastern country of using football as a platform by human rights organizations to quell blatant allegations of human rights violations, including gender discrimination. While the proportion of women in tournament refereeing teams is low, analysts say the change is significant, especially in a country where women can be, literally in the case of Baek and Al Thani, ignored. “It’s happening in Qatar sends a strong message,” says Erin Blankenship, co-founder of Equal Playing Field, a nonprofit that wants better representation of women in the sport. “I don’t expect the World Cup to have a 50/50 gender divide. But I think it’s getting to the point where it doesn’t matter what the gender. If you’re good at your job, you have to be All right on the field. That’s the goal.” Good sign for gender equality? But not everyone sees female referees at the World Cup as a positive move, with some fans, especially the men, mocking and criticizing what they see as an invasion of the men’s space. Stephanie Fraparte is one of the most criticized. The 37-year-old is one of France’s top football referees and became the first woman to officiate in a men’s UEFA Super Cup final (Liverpool vs Chelsea) in 2019, as well as a men’s UEFA Champions League match (Juventus vs Dynamo Kyiv) in 2020. . Fraparte has been on FIFA’s international judges’ list for more than a decade and has refereed in high-profile games such as the tense final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, when the United States team led by Megan Rapinoe defeated the Netherlands. , But Frapart’s success is a double-edged sword. The higher the profile, the higher the criticism. Like former French player Jerome Roth, who also discredited his choice for the Cup on a radio show, saying it “doesn’t measure up”. “When people say that, it’s because they think women will never be good enough for the best league that men’s sports are,” counters Blankenship. “But the athletes who make it this far are usually women who are ready to resist and who have climbed many invisible mountains,” he said. Pressure from fans While Frapart continues to fight fundamentalism in France, his colleague Salima Mukansanga faced various challenges in Rwanda. Despite Paul Kagame’s autocratic rule, Rwanda is one of the most gender-equal countries, with almost two-thirds of parliamentary seats held by women. But football referees, both male and female, are still villains for fans, including Mukansanga’s own father, who scolded the referee when his team lost. But to young Salima, the owner of the yellow and red cards in his pocket seemed to be the most important person in the game. So when she graduated from high school at age 15, she went straight to refereeing, working her way up from Rwanda’s regional league to the world’s most important tournament. The 33-year-old made headlines earlier this year when she became the first woman to referee two matches at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon. She told DW she was nervous before kickoff. There is more pressure in men’s sports because of the higher standards and because she is one of the first women to handle the senior men’s tournament. Excited cheers made him lose weight. But he overcame the fear. As Zimbabwe defeated Guinea, Mukansanga’s face was an unreadable canvas with sharp eyes running across the field, oblivious to the stunned spectators at the sight of a referee. When a Guinean striker patted his hand for suggesting to reconsider his teammate’s yellow card, Mukansanga exclaimed, “Do you want one too?” The attacker immediately left the spot. Beyond Qatar, other referees at the World Cup in Qatar are Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita, who refereeed men’s games in the Asian Nations Cup and the AFC Champions League; Assistant Katherine Nesbitt, chemistry teacher and soccer referee; and assistant Karen Diaz from Medina, Mexico. There are still many arguments in favor of better representation of women in the sport, but for female referees early in their careers, the referee board in Qatar is a confirmation of the importance of qualification, says Eva Lotta Lockner, an amateur referee at German club Hamburgo. SV. This means, “If we put in the effort and show ambition, we really have a chance to be selected for the top men’s tournament.” But while FIFA’s initiative is commendable, what happens after the Qatar Cup is equally important, Blankenship says, adding that it should be a long-term project. “I’m excited that this is happening,” she says. “But we take responsibility for the institutional barriers against women and we will remove them.” Writer: Shola Laval

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