[Image: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images]
Queenslanders Casey Reibelt and Kate Jacewicz are one step closer to refereeing on football’s biggest stage with selection on the FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup Candidates Program for prospective Match Officials.
Brisbane-based Reibelt and Gold Coast-raised Jacewicz are two of only 10 referees selected from the Asian Football Confederation.
The aim of the program is to prepare prospective FIFA World Cup referees through fitness monitoring, psychological analysis of game demeanour, and testing of the FIFA Laws of the Game.
“It’s every referee’s dream to officiate at a World Cup and I’m really looking forward to the challenges and hard work that lie ahead,” Reibelt told footballaustralia.com.au.
“The first seminar in Doha will involve both physical and mental testing so I’ve been focused on being as prepared as possible for this. I’m looking forward to gaining as much information and experience from the Candidates Program.”
Jacewicz, who started out as a junior player with Mudgeeraba Soccer Club, was equally excited and looking forward to the opportunities the program provides.
“Since receiving my FIFA badge five years ago, gaining selection to the Candidates Program was the number one goal,” the seven-time Westfield W-League Grand Final referee said.
“The 2015/6 Westfield W-League season was the strongest season yet and challenged me to become physically fitter and faster, and also develop my ability to read the game.
“The Candidates Program provides the opportunity to officiate and develop at the highest level with some of the most experienced referees across the world which will be a fantastic experience.”
— Football Australia (@FFA) April 4, 2016
FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson congratulated both referees on their selection.
“Kate and Casey are both very deserving of their selection on the Candidates Program alongside other world class referees,” Wilson said.
”They will get access to the best available technical resources and support services from FIFA.
“Not only will Kate and Casey have an opportunity to participate in international tournaments and workshops in the lead up to France 2019, but their involvement in the Program will raise the standard of refereeing in the Westfield W-League.”
Queensland has previously been represented at FIFA Women’s World Cups by the likes of Jacqui Melksham and Tammy Ogston, who in 2007 became the first Australian – male or female – to referee a World Cup Final.