ZAMBIAN referee Gladys Lengwe has been selected to officiate at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Lengwe, who officiated the final of the 2018 Africa Women Championship between Nigeria and South Africa on Saturday, would be among 27 referees across the globe. She will be among the three representatives from the CAF quarter that has Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) and Abebe Lydia Tafesse (Ethiopia).
Lengwe adds to another piece of history after Janny Sikazwe officiated the 2018 FIFA Men’s World Cup. The FIFA Referees Committee has selected 27 referees and 48 assistant referees, representing 42 different countries, for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.
The journey to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 began from an initial group of female referees and assistant referees from all over the world in September 2015, when FIFA officially started its Road to France 2019 women’s refereeing project.
As part of this project, preparatory seminars have taken place over the last three years for referees and assistant referees, focusing on protecting players and the image of the game, as well as on consistency in interpreting the Laws of the Game. Technical expertise, football understanding, fitness and the ability to read the game and teams’ tactical approaches to each match have been the main topics covered at these seminars. The referees selected for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup, the most important competition in women’s sport, have demonstrated their skills at previous tournaments, including the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 and Uruguay 2018, as well as the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea in 2016 and this summer in Brittany, France.
Preparations will continue for the selected match officials between now and the start of France 2019. There will be a number of further preparatory seminars, while the FIFA referee instructors would carry out observation work and provide ongoing support and guidance. Every effort is being made to ensure that the officials would be 100 per cent ready for the big occasion. The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 will be played from June 7 to July 7 in Grenoble, Le Havre, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Paris, Reims, Rennes and Valenciennes.
The final will take place in Lyon on Sunday, July 7, 2019.