Last night was a fantastic experience for the entire crew of the 3rd/4th place match. We all enjoyed the energetic atmosphere of the stadium and were happy to finish our tournament with a great game. The tournament has flown by and it is hard to believe that we've been in Japan for a month. I will be departing for the USA today, but will take with me many wonderful memories from the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup in Japan. I would like to thank Official Sports International for their support. I would also like to thank everyone who was following my experience and for the many encouraging messages I received.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I am very excited and honored to have been appointed as the referee for the 3rd/4th place match between Nigeria and Japan. The assistant referees will be Emperatriz Ayala from El Salvador and Kimberly Moreira from Costa Rica. The fourth official is Liang Qin from China and the fifth official is Yongmei Cui, also from China. This match will be played at 3:30PM on Saturday at the Tokyo National Stadium. My entire crew is thrilled to have one more opportunity to referee together at this tournament.
Monday, September 3, 2012
This morning we had fitness training, but then we had the afternoon off. I decided to go shopping in the Shibuya center with some of the other referees. It was very interesting to walk around the area, look at all of the shops, and see more of the Japanese culture. The rest of the evening will be quite relaxed since tomorrow is a match-day again. The two semifinal games will be played at the Tokyo National Stadium at 4PM and 7:30PM. I have not been assigned to either one of these matches, but I'm looking forward to watching them because they will definitely be exciting games.
|Intersection in Shibuya area of Tokyo|
|Same interesection when pedestrians can cross - and everyone is walking in different directions! |
We almost lost our leader in the sea of people!
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Today was a bittersweet day for me in Japan. I have been very fortunate in being selected to stay at the tournament for another round of games. But, because there are not enough games remaining for everyone to work, several of the referees had to travel home. It is hard to see our colleagues leave because we have enjoyed each other's company and friendships so much during the last 3 weeks. We all know and respect that every referee has worked very hard to be here. As we said our farewells, we all wished the best for each other so that we can see each other again at a future tournament. And everyone will certainly have good memories from our last evening together -- we went out to a restaurant for a traditional Japanese dinner followed by dancing and a lot of fun. Many of us wore kimonos to the party since the Japanese Football Association gave each of us one as a gift. The Japanese referees had a lot of work to do before the party because they had to help all of us get dressed!
|Referees getting dressed in their kimonos|
|Some of the CONCACAF referees in the hotel lobby before leaving for the party|
|View of Tokyo from the restaurant window|
Friday, August 31, 2012
Yesterday I enjoyed my quarterfinal match between Germany and Norway and really had a great time with my crew during the game. Today we've already had a training session and soon we will have debriefing in order to review all four of the quarterfinal matches. At the end of the meeting, we will find out which referees have been appointed to remain at the tournament for the final two rounds of play. Since there are not as many games in these two rounds, many of the referees will be released and will be returning home tomorrow. While we do not yet know who will be released, we do know that tonight we will have a referee dinner and party. We are all looking forward to having an enjoyable evening together sharing our experiences from our last three weeks in Japan.
|Several referees at the Tokyo National Stadium between quarterfinal matches|
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I am honored to have been assigned as the referee for the quarterfinal game between Germany and Norway, which will be played on Friday at 4:00PM in Saitama. My assistant referees for this match will be Kimberly Moreira from Costa Rica, and Emperatriz Ayala from El Salvador. Dianne Ferreira-James from Guyana will be the fourth official. We are all looking forward to working together and we are excited to be able to participate in this next phase of the tournament.
Monday, August 27, 2012
The game between Japan and Switzerland resulted in a 4:0 win for Japan. I enjoyed working with my CONCACAF crew. We were all happy to have to the chance to referee in the Tokyo National Stadium, and we appreciated the enthusiasm of the Japanese fans throughout the game. Yesterday all of the referees that were not working matches went to watch two more matches in Saitama. It was a relaxed afternoon at the stadium and it is always nice to be able to cheer on our colleagues. This morning we had our usual fitness training, which will be followed by an afternoon debriefing session for the third round of games. And later this evening we will attend a dinner hosted by Japan Football Association. I'm looking forward to a great dinner -- Japan has does an excellent job of making this a memorable event, and I'm sure tonight will be no different.
|Marisol Salazar, Lucila Venegas, Margaret Domka, and Kimberly Moreira before the Switzerland vs. Japan match|