Referee Riem Hussein officiates the Women’s Champions League final in 2021. In this story you’ll read some tips from this German top referee, based on an interview she gave to Uefa before the final.
A dream comes true for her and she’s happy with the support of her team. “You can’t be successful as a referee on your own. Refereeing is a team sport for me. We all need to be on the same level, to work together, speak together and help each other. There’ll be 100% concentration, especially because of the importance of the match.”
Below the image you’ll see the names of the full refereeing team, including VAR. Plus some great advice for you as a referee.
Riem Hussein’s UCL final team
Referee: Riem Hussein (Germany)
Assistants: Katrin Rafalski (Germany), Sara Telek (Austria)
Fourth Official: Katalin Kulcsár (Hungary)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (Germany)
Assistant VAR: Christian Dingert (Germany)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Julia Magnusson (Sweden)
Experience as player helps you as ref
Riem Hussein played football too, but after arguing a lot with the referee, she started to study the Laws of the Game for herself. Because she liked it, she started to officiate games on the days she was not active as a player. That helped her a lot in her career. “Referees need a feeling for football,” she says in the Uefa article. “It’s a big advantage if they’ve been players. Then you also need a good physical condition, endurance, stamina and anticipation.”
Use your personality to manage a game
According to Riem Hussein, management skills are extremely important for referees. “It’s about using your personality at the right moment”, she says. That’s how you can show respect to players and get it back from the players as well.
She used her management skills as referee this year during her work as pharmacist. “Every day, we have to deal with a lot of pressure as we endeavour to meet the needs and emergencies of our customers”. That’s what she said to FIFA. “There are supply bottlenecks at the moment when it comes to mouth and nose masks, disinfectant and a lot of other pharmaceutical products and that pushes us to our limits.”
Something that helps you too: experience in a working environment and as referee is beneficial for both roles. You can only become better at your job.
Find someone who believes in you
Riem Hussein talks very positive about former German female referee Antje Witteweg, who is a former FIFA match official. “She was the one who told me I had talent. She accompanied me in my first year in the second division as a referee, and she helped to push me forward. I’ve so much to thank her for.”
That’s the kind of person you need too. Someone who helps you, who can challenge you. Want to know more about mentoring? Read about the 4 types of referee mentors you need.
Work on your fitness
Although men’s fitness is better, Riem Hussein doesn’t prepare differently for a women’s game. “In men’s football, the speed and intensity are both higher, so it’s more demanding in physical terms.” But she notices that also the women’s game get more demanding. Teams are better organised, have more resources to help the players. That gives these teams better means to improve, which helps their development.
“Women’s football is only going one way.” And that is up, which is what Riem Hussein also strives for. Good luck in the Women’s UCL final between Barcelona and Chelsea!
Fitness tip by Riem Hussein’s AR Katrin Rafalski
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Below you’ll see the tip from Katrin Rafalski, a big shout-out to all women involved in refereeing. Go for it, ladies!