2014 in Review: Referees

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Ella De Vries, Suzanne Morisset, Michelle Pye, Carol Anne Chénard & Marie-Josée Charbonneau

It was a good year for Canada’s FIFA List referees. On the women’s side, Carol Anne Chénard made history at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, becoming the first female to officiate a championship match in two editions of the same competition (she also oversaw the 2010 final, which also featured Germany v Nigeria).

In addition to Chénard, three other Canadians officials took part in the competition: referee Michelle Pye and assistants Marie-Josée Charbonneau and Suzanne Morisset.

On the men’s side assistant referee Joe Fletcher grabbed the headlines. In the summer he participated in the FIFA World Cup™ and closed out the year by being appointed to the MLS Cup Final.

“This year couldn’t have been any better,” says Fletcher. “This was my first MLS Cup Final and what can I say about the FIFA World Cup™, it’s the big dance… if everything crashed and burned tomorrow and I was forced to retire, I would leave extremely happy.”

Fletcher, however, has no plans to retire. Not one to look back, he already has his sight set on Russia 2018. If Fletcher or any compatriots do make it to Russia, it will mean that Canadian referees will have participated in five consecutive FIFA World Cups™. “It would be an amazing accomplishment,” says Fletcher, “it’s not easy for any referee to get there, let alone return.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s female officials will continue their preparation in hopes of making the final selection for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM.

“It’s always an honour to receive a FIFA appointment,” said Carol Anne Chénard in an interview to FIFA earlier this year, “a great honour to be able to officiate a final at an Under-20 [….]. Our preparation doesn’t stop after this [FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup] tournament, we still have another ten months so we have to make sure that we, as referees, do everything possible to make sure that we are at 100% able to perform next year […] and hopefully in three or four months when that list comes out our names will be on it!”

“Canada’s FIFA List officials had a successful year. Their commitment and work ethic makes them role models for young referees across the country,” says Head of Refereeing Tiger Liu, “as well as ambassadors for the game. We wish them continued success throughout 2015 and beyond.”

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