Kari Seitz gets an inmportant job as senior manager in FIFA’s referees department. “One of my key goals was always to be a role model and make a real impact on behalf of women”, she says on the website of FIFA. The US referee officiated at four different World Cups (1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011), as well as three Olympic soccer tournaments (2004, 2008, and 2012). No other referee ever achieved that. Men’s record holder is Canadian assistant referee Hector Vergara with 14 matches in three different World Cups.
Seitz’ first task is helping with the development of the prospective list of referees for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. She got a dream job as she wants to make an impact in women’s lifes. Now she will help world’s best lead referees improve their game. “I didn’t know if [my career] would be in sport, never mind in football. I just wanted to make some kind of difference, and in refereeing I did feel that I made some progress. But this job, I feel, offers me an even bigger platform to help more women and be a positive influence and example.”
In 2013 Seitz has retired after 14 years at the highest level as active referee, while in the meantime she ran a big advertising company. At the moment of her retirement U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati showed the importance of role models like Seitz. “Kari has played a key role in the growth of women’s soccer in the United States over the past 15 years, and her dedication to her craft has always been admirable”.
When the US Soccer Organisation held there 100th anniversary they published an interesting interview series. One of the people that has been interviewed was Kari Seitz, right after the end of her career.
The trio got the opening match and a quarter final, but was send home afterwards – the US team reached the final. The team was disappointed, but had many good experiences. “We’ve loved every minute of the games and we owe a large part of that to your support”, they say on their blog.
“Sunday, immediately after we completed our match we heard the news about the appointments for the 3rd round of matches. Kari and Marlene will be joining Carol Ann (Canada) and Ivonne (El Salvador) to work the match on Wednesday between England and Japan, in Augsburg. Kari will be working as a 4th official.”
On Monday they traveled back from Wolfsburg to the referee headquarters in Frankfurt for a debriefing and recovery training session. But that’s not all: later that night the officials for wednesday’s match got on the train to Augsburg, where the match will be played. The lenght of their trip that day: about 725 kilometres.
Perez also explains why she’s not been appointed for the match: “Some of you may be wondering why this assignment is not being officiated as a trio. In fact, in women’s refereeing we do not have a true trio system. As the tournament progresses, we may be asked to work with other officials.”
The South African World Cup has ended more than a week ago, but there’s another World Cup going on in Germany. The female U20 talents are playing to become the world’s best. Forty officials are taking care of the matches.
Tonight Korea DPR plays against Sweden in Augsburg with three North American officials: Carol Anne Chenard (Canada) and Veronica Perez and Marlene Duffy (both assistants from the USA). “This match could be a very exciting match! We are happy to have another opportunity to work with Carol Anne and to receive another assignment in the tournament”, writes Duffy on their blog.
Duffy, Radzik (4th official from Poland), Chenard and Perez. Photo from personal blog of American assistants.
The match tonight will be the second appointment for the trio. They officiated also in the match between Germany and Colombia which ended in 3-1. “It was an exciting match, full of decisions down to the final minutes of the match. 15,000 fans attended the match, and the atmosphere was loud and absolutely great”, they wrote.
Veronica Perez Role: Assistant Referee Country: USA Date of Birth: 31.10.1979 Height: 168 cm Occupation: ? Mother tongue: English Other languages: Spanish International since: 2008
Marlene Duffy Role: Assistant Referee Country: USA Date of Birth: 04.08.1979 Height: 160 cm Occupation: Geologist Mother tongue: English Other languages: Spanish International since: 2008