Woman referee on duty at FIFA U-17 Male W/Cup

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(Reuters/NAN) Switzerland’s Esther Staubli on Saturday became the first female referee to officiate in the FIFA Male Under-17 World Cup after overseeing the match in the Indian city of Kolkata between New Caledonia and Japan.

The development was the first in the tournament’s history as New Caledonia claim their first point at a FIFA tournament after drawing 1-1 with Japan at the Under-17 World Cup on Saturday.

But it was a match also notable for the fact that it was refereed by a woman.

The 38-year-old Staubli is part of a seven-strong contingent of female officials at the male tournament, a move initiated by FIFA to help further develop women’s football.

Japan are into the knockout rounds after finishing second in Group E behind France.

However, New Caledonia captain Jekob Jeno’s late goal, which cancelled out Keito Nakamura’s first-half strike, was not enough to prevent his team bowing out.

New Caledonia finished bottom of the group after conceding 13 goals in their three matches.

Their midfielder, Neil Wahiobe, picked up the only yellow card of the game for a 90th-minute foul.

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets failed to qualify for the tournament currently going on in India.