Zurich, July 2, 2021: The FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 39 match officials from 31 different countries and from all FIFA Confederations to officiate the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™ taking place between 12 September and 3 October 2021 in the cities of Kaunas, Klaipeda and Vilnius.
“This team of referees is the best one possible for the most important tournament in world futsal. We are convinced, that all of them are very well prepared and have shown themselves capable of performing at the very highest level,” said Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of FIFA’s Referees Committee.
For the first time since the Futsal World Cup in Thailand in 2012, female referees have been appointed. While there was the Brazilian Renata Leite in 2012, there are now five – Chiara Perona (Italy), Irina Velikanova (Russia), Gelareh Nazemi Deylami (Iran), Valeria Nicole Palma (Chile) and Maria Estefania Pinto (Argentina).
FIFA has been able despite the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, to offer virtual courses to the cross-Confederation referee candidates in the last months with the objective to ensure correct and consistent application of the Laws. Using an extensive catalogue of video clips, the expert instructors provided the candidate referees with the most up-to-date date training and information thereby ensuring they succeed if they are called upon to blow the whistle in Lithuania.
The 39 selected match officials have been appointed by FIFA’s Referees Committee based on their quality, on the evaluation during the programme “Road to Lithuania”, their performances during matches in their confederation, their performance in the World Cup qualifiers and finally on their fitness status.
“FIFA always strives to bring the best match officials to its competitions. Through hard work and good performances, the referees selected have deserved to participate in the Futsal World Cup in Lithuania, because they have shown in the preparation that they are indeed the best. We are convinced that their quality will be expressed from the first whistle”, says Pierluigi Collina.
The selected referees can rely in Lithuania on a new, additional help: FIFA recently announced Video Support for referees will be used at a FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021™. The system will comprise a review operator and a pitch side screen for referees, with the technology set to positively impact the game. Of course, training with Video Support is an important part of the preparation process for the referees who will feature at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™. —- FIFA