1st all-female crew appointed to handle AFC Cup game
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Referee Yoshimi Yamashita and assistants Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi are set to become the first all-female crew to officiate in one of the Asian Football Confederation’s continental club competitions.
The AFC said all three women passed a fitness test that matched the requirements for male officials, and described the appointment for Wednesday’s AFC Cup Group F match between Yangon United of Myanmar and Naga World of Cambodia as a “timely boost” considering the referees were among 12 Asian match officials involved in the Women’s World Cup in France next month.
Yamashita has previously officiated at the under-17 Women’s World Cup and the Women’s Asian Cup.
“This is one of my dreams,” Yamashita was quoted as saying Tuesday. “It’s an important achievement for us because it’s the first time three women will officiate in an AFC club competition and it comes before the Women’s World Cup.
“I have to thank the AFC for giving us this opportunity to join the history books in women’s refereeing in Asia.”
Assistant referee Teshirogi said she was expecting a tough assignment because the male players “have different personalities and temperament.”
“In the future, we hope to set the example for more female referees to take the leap to officiate in men’s football matches,” Teshirogi said. “More women passed the men’s fitness test, so that shows how motivated the women referees are.”