Monica Iheakam, with report
World football ruling body, FIFA, yesterday released names of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup billed for France.
African champions, Super Falcons of Nigeria, is among the 32 women national teams that will trade tackles when hostilities begin in France from June 7, 2019.
The 15 VAR officials were selected from 11 countries by the FIFA referees committee, to support the centre and assistant referees during the tournament.
FIFA Deputy Secretary General of Football, Zvonimir Boban said;”Following the historic implementation of VAR at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia last summer, we were determined to do our utmost to ensure that VAR was also implemented in the women’s game.
“In order to achieve this goal, for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, we selected the most experienced VARs in the world. Once again, VAR will be part of a remarkable project as it will unite women and men referees in what we are certain will be a successful tournament.”
At the beginning of December last year, the FIFA Referees Committee had selected 27 referees and 47 assistant referees, representing 42 different countries, for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Finally, 10 of the 15 selected video match officials were VAR/referees at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s group A opponent, Norway, has shut her door permanently on Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.
The three -time Champions League winner, has not been included in Norway’s squad for the Women’s World Cup.
Hegerberg’s decision to step away from international football came just months before the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) and the nation’s player’ association (NISO) signed an historic equal pay agreement.
The agreement saw the amount of money paid to the women’s team almost double from £296,845 to £574,540.
It included 550,000 krone (£47,875) paid by male Norwegian players, money they receive for commercial activities.
“Thank you for making this step for female athletes,” Norway winger Hansen said at the time.