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Sandra Serafini: Officials take nothing for granted

June 30, 2014

The Professional Referee Organization's Sandra Serafini insists officials don't take anything for granted when it comes to assignments.

The Women's Coach and NWSL Assignor was speaking to proreferees.com after three of the FIFA women officials were assigned to the 2014 U20 Women's World Cup, which will be held in Canada during August.

A total of 13 referees, five reserve referees and 26 ARs were assigned to the tournament by FIFA with U.S. Soccer and PRO Officials Margaret Domka, Marlene Duffy and Veronica Perez all being included.

The trio are three of the most senior and qualified officials on the women's FIFA panel but Serafini said they don't take anything for granted.

“It's a great opportunity and honor for them to represent the country. I know how hard they've been working so I was hopeful that it would happen but it's always a little relief when the assignment actually comes through.

“We keep realistic and hopeful that the assignment happens but I don't think anybody mistakes something like that as a guarantee until the confirmation comes through. 

“Having the tournament in North America makes it a little easier to potentially go there and support them in person, which I'd love to do.

“Canada and the US are massive supporters of women's soccer so the crowds will be good and the federation will support it. You have all the fans from the NWSL that will be watching their favourite players too, which will make for an exciting tournament.”

The three officials will now turn their attention to increasing their training intensity ahead of the tournament, which gets under way on August 5th when Finland take on North Korea and Canada face Ghana – both at BMO Field, Toronto. 

Serafini – a former FIFA official herself – believes they are always prepared for the big assignments, and their inclusion is a sign that the Professional Referee Organization is moving in the right direction.

She added: “We do all we can to prepare them for the highest possible assignments they can get. Whatever we can do to prepare them for that – that's our job.

“The FIFA matches and tournaments are the prizes that they're always aiming for and their inclusion gives some validation to what we're doing at PRO. 

“It gives us a sense that we're going in the right direction but there's always work to be done. It's all about improving and to keep getting more appointments at the highest level possible.”


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