UEFA Women’s Euro 2013

UEFA Women's Euro 2013 is just around the corner and the tournament referees and assistants have been this week at UEFA to receive last-minute instructions and recommendations, and fine-tune their preparations for the finals in Sweden between 10 and 28 July. UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina and UEFA Referees Committee members Bo Karlsson and Dagmar Damkova – the latter a former leading referee herself – were present in Nyon to give the match officials advice and recommendations, as well as experienced encouragement to stand them in good stead at the final round. "This is the last time the referees will meet before the EURO," Damkova told UEFA.com, "and this is the right time to give instructions, review topics we have already addressed and remind the referees about issues such as consistency. The workshop has also helped to motivate and refresh them for the job ahead. We are showing them that we are here for them." This week's workshop looked at many of the elements that the referees and assistants will need to be alert to and follow, to ensure high-quality performances in Sweden. These include changes to the Laws of the Game regarding offside, handball-related decisions, control and awareness of what is happening on the field, and the crucial teamwork and communication between referees and their assistants. "The biggest issue nowadays is offside. This will be the first event after the changes have come into force – it will be the first test for the girls," Damkova explained. "Handball is also a crucial topic and has been for a long while, as there can be different opinions about each situation. We are showing them the things they need to take into consideration and which must influence their final decisions." In addition, the delegates undertook fitness training at the Colovray Stadium opposite UEFA's headquarters, supervised by the UEFA referee fitness and training team led by Belgian expert Werner Helsen. The referees and assistants were also weighed during the workshop – another indicator of just how seriously UEFA is preparing its women match officials for life at the elite level. "Demands are getting higher and higher," said Damkova, "because nowadays the referees are not just match officials, but athletes as well. Nowadays they almost need the same care as football players." The female referees have welcomed UEFA's attention and approach as a vital step forward. "The UEFA Referees Committee wants to show that we care about women's referees," Damkova emphasised, "and we must not divide men's and women's refereeing, because areas such as offside and handball are the same for both. So the instructions are the same. Both the men's and women's referees appreciated the UEFA course in Rome because they were able to share ideas and experiences." Damkova gave words of encouragement to the referees and assistants as they now look towards July. "They will be working as a team on and off the pitch, in the hotel and at training sessions," she said. "They must trust in their knowledge and ability, and believe they can do it. They are at the top level, they must be self-confident – but they must not forget to enjoy the experience as well". (Source: UEFA)
1. Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN) 26/09/1978
2. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER) 24/03/1979
3. Katalin Kulcsar (HUN) 07/12/1984
4. Silvia Spinelli (ITA) 29/10/1970
5. Teodora Albon (ROU) 02/12/1977
6. Cristina Dorcioman (ROU) 07/08/1974
7. Jenny Palmqvist (SWE) 02/11/1969
8. Esther Staubli (SUI) 03/10/1979
9. Kateryna Monzul (UKR) 05/07/1981

Assistant Referees
1. Lucie Ratajova (CZE) 02/12/1979
2. Sian Massey (ENG) 05/10/1985
3. Tonja Paavola (FIN) 25/03/1977
4. Marina Wozniak (GER) 07/09/1979
5. Judit Kulcsar (HUN) 27/04/1980
6. Romina Santuari (ITA) 14/03/1974
7. Hege Steinlund (NOR) 23/12/1969
8. Petruta Iugulescu (ROU) 20/09/1979
9. Maria Sukenikova (SVK) 16/11/1975
10. Maria Villa Gutierrez (ESP) 14/05/1973
11. Helen Karo (SWE) 01/11/1974
12. Natalia Rachynska (UKR) 14/08/1970

Fourth Officials
1. Carina Vitulano (ITA) 22/07/1975
2. Esther Azzopardi Farrugia (MLT) 12/12/1981
3. Monika Mularczyk (POL) 28/06/1980