Three U.S. Soccer referees selected for FIFA Women’s World Cup
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) — U.S. Soccer FIFA Referee Katja Koroleva and Assistant Referees Kathryn Nesbitt and Felisha Mariscal have been selected as match officials for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. FIFA announced 74 match officials from all six confederations will officiate the competition, which begins June 7 in Paris.
“Katja, Kathryn and Felisha’s selections to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup represent another major accomplishment in their careers,” said Rick Eddy, U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Development. “From their early days as U.S. Soccer match officials, all three demonstrated unlimited potential. I’ve had the privilege to watch them rise through the ranks of refereeing to the professional and international level. We wish Katja, Kathryn and Felisha a successful World Cup experience.”
Koroleva and Nesbitt have previously refereed FIFA Youth World Cup tournaments, but this summer will mark Mariscal’s debut on the world stage. The trio were three of the 24 U.S. Soccer referees named in January to the 2019 FIFA Panel, the world’s highest level of officiating. Selection grants the 24 officials the opportunity to referee at the highest levels of international soccer.
Koroleva previously officiated at the historic 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. A member of the FIFA Panel since 2014, she has also refereed at the Pan-American Games and an NWSL Championship match.
Hailing from a family of referees, Mariscal has been a professional match official since 2009 and first earned selection to the FIFA Panel in 2014. Since, she has run the sideline at the 2016 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship, the Algarve Cup and an NASL Final.
Nesbitt’s selection as an assistant referee comes after serving at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France. Named to the FIFA Panel for the first time in 2016, Nesbitt also refereed the 2016 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Referees from Canada, Honduras, Jamaica and Mexico will also represent Concacaf at the Women’s World Cup. FIFA selects its best match officials from around the world for FIFA competitions. This tournament will mark the first time that Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used during a FIFA women’s event. Fifteen VAR officials will assist at the competition in France.