Female ref dreams of World Cup

July 17, 2018
Yee Sing
Stephanie Yee Sing

Like a lot of Jamaicans, Stephanie Yee Sing's eyes were glued to the TV for the duration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

But Yee Sing was not only watching for the captivating skills of some of the finest football players in the world, she was also focused on the men who had been charged with making sure the rules of the game were adhere to.

Yee Sing watched in awe and dreamed wildly of one day standing in the middle at the greatest show on earth. But she admits that her aspiration, right now, is a pipe dream as women are a long way from meeting the standards needed to officiate at the men's FIFA World Cup.

"It would be a great privilege and honour to officiate at the men's FIFA World Cup because it is such a huge event," Yee Sing, who officiated at the FIFA Under 17 Women's World Cup in 2016, told STAR Sports recently. "But we are a far way from it because the standards are so high that it is very difficult for women to meet them."

She continued: "One of my male counterparts who was at the World Cup is completing the drills in half the time that women are doing it now and we have to get to that standard in order to be able to officiate at that level."

But though the high standards are preventing Yee Sing from achieving a dream she has since she was a girl, she does not want FIFA to lower the standard for women.

"This is my dream from I was a girl, but I don't want them (FIFA) to lower the standard in order for us to catch up because that is football at the highest level and you have to be able to get up and down the field to make the calls," Yee Sing explained.

Last year at the FIFA Under 17 World Cup, Esther Staubli, a Swiss school teacher, made history when she officiated the encounter between Japan and New Caledonia. It was the first time a woman had officiated at a men's World Cup and Yee Sing sees this as a positive sign.

"I believe in taking things in strides because if she can do it then we probably can get to the senior World Cup standard some day," the 29-year-old said.

"To get there I just have to put my mind to it. Before my career is over I will try after it."

Over the past few years, women have been allowed to be more involved in the male game in the CONCACAF region.

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