Anastasia Pustovoitova is the referee of the Women’s UCL final 2018-2019. “There’s a mixture of emotions – certainly happiness and excitement”, she tells Uefa.com. “I can’t wait to get to the match, and I’m sure that my heart rate will increase when I’m lining up with the teams.”
In this blog post she shares 3 tips that you can apply as referee.
1. Gain experience both as player and referee
Because Anastasia Pustovoitova is a former football player, she has a lot of experience in (top) football. In the early years of this century she plays football in the Women’s Cup, which is the predecessor of the Women’s Champions League. “We were the first Russian club to play in the competition when it started in 2001/02, and we reached the quarter-finals, when we were knocked out by the strong Swedish team Umeå IK, who reached the final that year and won the competition the year after.”
This experience gave here the great feeling of acting at top level, but also ignites here spark to continue in top football. “I thought about what I could do next, because I can’t live without football – and I decided to try refereeing”.
But how has it really helped her? “You are able to read the game and you can anticipate a lot of the time what comes next.”
2. Work as a real team
“When I refereed, I felt confident, so I continued”, Anastasia Pustovoitova says. That brought her to the 2017 Women’s Euro and the 2019 World Cup in France. The Russian referee says that it is very important to have a great team. “Without the team, I’m nothing”, she says.
That’s a similar experience Björn Kuipers experiences when making big calls. “It’s also about the fact that someone in your team gives you an advice and that you follow your team member when you make a decisions.” Check how Björn Kuipers builds trust with his team.
3. Be yourself as referee
Every referee has some match official that he likes, but you should not copy him or her. “You must be yourself as a referee”, is the advice of Anastasia Pustovoitova. “I don’t really have role models, but I respect [German referee] Bibiana Steinhaus, she’s a women’s refereeing icon”, she tells Uefa. She also mentions former Czech referee and UEFA refereeing officer Dagmar Damková who I spoke with for my blog. “She is so experienced and took charge of so many important games in her career.”
Anastasia Pustovoitova’ is looking forward to the future. “I just want to keep doing my best and looking ahead”. And what would she advice a young girl who might be keen to take up refereeing?
“Just do it, if you love football – and believe in yourself…”
Training by Anastasia Pustovoitova
On YouTube you can see what a training session by Anastasia Pustovoitova looks like.