The World Cup Referees Media Day, which kicks off this Sunday in Qatar (November 20-December 18), takes place this Friday morning. At their Qatar Sports Club training center, a few referees presented themselves to the international press. If none of the six French people appeared, two of the six women selected for the event spoke, each “proud and happy” to have been selected: the Rwandan central, Salima Mukansanga, and the American assistant, Kathryn Nesbitt.
“Women deserve to referee like men. »
“As women, this is an opportunity for all of us to work together and continue to improve, asserted the first African woman to have led a match of the AFCON men (January 18, 2022). It’s a step further. If men can do it, so can women, because they deserve it, and that’s what everyone needs to understand. Women deserve to referee like men. It is an honor and a privilege, because it has never happened before. It means that you will be the first and that you will open the door to other women, especially in Africa. »
Her colleague also admitted to feeling “a great honor to represent women, but especially refereeing, at this World Cup. » “But the most important thing is to make the best possible decisions, she continued. We are extremely focused on the game. Of course I have the pressure, but the pressure is for everyone. It is a challenge for all referees. We’ve been here for ten days and I’m very excited. We have all worked very hard for years to be present here. We are focused on our team, the team of referees. »
As for the parallel drawn with the men, the American prefers to emphasize that“There is only one team, which trains in the same way. I’m here to do my job, and do it the best I can. » For his part, Mukansanga admits that, “sometimes i can’t run like the men, but i can do more, to at least be on the same pace, and have proximity to the players, as well as a good angle of vision. »