Samoan referee to help officiate at FIFA Women's World Cup

Samoan referee Maria Salamasina will be making her second appearance at a FIFA Women's World Cup.

Salamasina will appear as an assistant referee at this year's tournament, co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. She also appeared as an assistant referee at the 2019 World Cup, in France.

Salamasina said she wasn't expecting the nomination, as the Covid pandemic had shut down football competition in Samoa.

"Yeah, it's different for me because I didn't know I will be enlisted for this World Cup. I didn't know I was going to be in this due to Covid-19 as we didn't have any tournaments (recently) and luckily we had training everyday, so I think I'm lucky to be in this World Cup."

RNZ Pacific reports Salamasina also officiated at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in 2022, and at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2018.

She joins a select group of officials: a total of 33 referees, 55 assistant referees and 19 video-match-officials will oversee the tournament.

In preparation for the upcoming tournament Salamasina has been maintaining her fitness, and will be travelling to the Middle East.

"For now we will continue to maintain our training every day of the week. We have already done a competition in Samoa and then we have a seminar in Qatar this month and then we have the (Intercontinental) play-off in New Zealand next month," she said.


Maria Salamasina is on the left. Photo: Ridiqiulas Photography