Three Indian referees Rebello Maria Piedade, Ranjita Devi Tekcham and Fernandes Uvena, are included in the history-making set of match officials for AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022.
With the number of teams in the championship expanded to 12, a total of 32 match officials, comprising 16 referees and assistant referees from 15 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Associations, will be in charge of in all the matches this year. This is the largest-ever cast of women match officials to be assigned in the Women's Asian Cup.
In another first, history will be made when Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will make its debut in the tournament for quarter-finals as well as potential play-off matches. Since the system will be used across two venues in Navi Mumbai and Pune, an additional six video match officials will also be appointed.
Among the set of talented match officials, nine were previously appointed to the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 in France. Their experience will be a huge benefit for Asia's women's team mega event.
Among those who were appointed in France 2019 are referees Casey Reibelt and Kate Jacewicz of Australia, Qin Liang of China PR and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan and assistant referees Fang Yan of China PR, Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi of Japan and Kim Kyoung-min and Lee Seul-gi of Korea Republic.
Korea's Kim Kyoung-min will be the most experienced match officials with her sixth straight appearance in the Asian Women's Cup, followed by her compatriot Lee Seul-gi who will be making her fourth appearance in the tournament.
Trio Yamashita, Bozono and Teshirogi, who made history as the first all-female referee team to take charge of a men's club competition in the AFC Cup in 2019, will also be a part of the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022.
All the match officials were selected based on their skills, technical knowledge, physical fitness and management competence.
The AFC has also ensured that the highest standards of refereeing will be maintained in the Women's Asian Cup by conducting virtual workshops and training including the VAR course.
The AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 is set to begin from January 20 and will take place across three venues in India - Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune.