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Why should FA promote women referees to its Championships?

Rebecca Welsh became the first female referee in the English Football League when she effectively officiated the Harrogate and Port Vale match in April 2021. On January 21, 2023, Welsh became the first female referee to supervise a championship game. In 2022, three women—Yamashita Yoshimi, Salima Mukansanga, and Stephanie Frappart—oversaw the FIFA Men’s World Cup games for the first time in football history. Their performances in these matches were outstanding. 

Including female referees in international football games indicates a bright future for women pursuing a career in the sport. It is an impressive improvement in empowering sportswomen, considering the deep-seated gender inequalities in football. This write-up explores the benefits of appointing female referees in EPL games and how criticisms and biases against women in football can be addressed. 

Regardless of who officiates a football game, punters will still place bets and dodge restrictions on sites that are not on gamban and independently verified by bookiesnotongamstop.com. Simply put, the interest of fans and bettors alike in these games will remain the same if women officiate them. Unfortunately, some players are not receptive to the idea of female referees. 

The benefits of appointing women referees in EPL games 

Both Mitrovic and Silva apologised to referee Chris for their misdemeanours in Fulham’s game against Manchester United. This is one of many incidents between players and referees in men’s football. 

Such incidents are not uncommon with female referees, but they are certain to reduce as male footballers are less likely to push a female the way Mitrovic did with Chris. 

There are a few other reasons why women should be appointed referees in football league games, and we have discussed these below:

Increased diversity and representation

Football is a sport many people enjoy in several parts of the world. However, according to a report by Statista, 63% of these fans are male, while the remaining 37% are female. If there are more female referees, more women and girls alike will take an interest in the sport, not just as fans but also to pursue a football career. This will also boost interest in women’s games, benefiting the Football Association. 

Enhanced credibility and fairness

In the 2022 World Cup, Janny Sikazwe failed to give Canada two clear penalties in their game against Belgium. This is just one instance of a referee being accused of corruption. Introducing more female referees to the EPL will lend more credibility to the game. Of course, male referees are also known for being fair, but it helps when there’s a different take from women on EPL matches. 

Positive impact on younger generations

Female referees are opening a pathway for the younger female generation. These youngsters will draw inspiration from the success stories of these women and might be moved enough to follow in their footsteps. The more females are interested in these games, the more views the sport gets. A more significant interest in football games could generate more revenue for the sports leagues.

The initiatives that will address criticisms and biases 

A player once yelled, “Get back in the kitchen”, at Melany Bermejo, one of Latin American football’s most formidable female referees. This is, in fact, one of the kinder things she has had to deal with as a female referee. Despite the role demanding the same effort regardless of gender, women are not seen as equal. They have to put in double the effort in order to get a chance to control the men’s game.

Steps can be taken to address this gender inequality and the biases that these sportswomen face. The first is creating equal opportunities for males and females without causing disparities and pointing out differences in their strengths and weaknesses.

Women like Stephanie Frappart should be allowed to compete with male referees on the same level and be given credit when they deserve it. 

Football associations can also create a whistle-blower programme where cases of harassment and discrimination can be reported and addressed. Of course, gender inequality is prevalent in football and many aspects of life. 

So, it will not be easy to eliminate the criticism attached to being a female referee. However, once the right initiatives are established, we’ll see fewer of these biases over time. 

FA should reassess and upgrade English football’s status 

As noted, many referees have been slammed for their judgement on the football field. This is one of the factors that the Game Match Officials Board considers when appointing referees for different matches. Experience, current form, the referee’s support team, and other international appointments are also determining factors. 

During this selection process, the deciding association should add female referees to the lineup of potential candidates. If a woman is considered the best for that position, she should be given a chance to officiate the game without hesitation. This means that men and women should be placed on the same scale and their skills considered equally.

Although only a few female referees have broken into men’s football, growth is potential. For instance, the FA offers a referee course for anyone, male or female, who would like to gain the information and experience necessary to officiate amateur football matches. 

The course includes virtual and in-person classes and is open to people over 14 who want to officiate mini football, 9 v 9 football, and/or 11 v 11 football. This is a great starting point for teenage girls interested in a career as a referee. 

FIFA also launched a Women’s Football Strategy Chart, which shows how the body will work with stakeholders to empower girls and women and increase their participation in the sport. It aims to have at least 60 million female players by 2026.

It hopes to foster a better-developed ecosystem for women’s football by providing more opportunities for women to take on leadership roles, which in turn will improve the game’s administration. It will also help develop women’s events by creating new revenue sources and optimising existing ones.

Football associations are taking necessary steps to improve women’s sports participation. As a result, we’re bound to see more female football players and referees who will officiate men’s games. 

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