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20 May 2022

The Maurice Revello Tournament and FIFA join forces for a world first: Exclusively women match officials officiating a Men's U20 national team competition

The Maurice Revello Tournament - International Festival Espoirs is honoured to announce a unique collaboration with FIFA for the refereeing of the 48th edition of the competition, from 29 May to 12 June 2022, in the South of France.

Thanks to this collaboration, the refereeing of the Maurice Revello 2022 Tournament will be exclusively women referees. Twelve trios of women's match officials who are candidates for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 will officiate in all 26 matches of the tournament scheduled for the next edition. This is a first: never before has a men's national team competition been officiated exclusively by women.

This initiative is part of FIFA's Road to Australia/New Zealand project, to prepare referees for the next FIFA Women's World Cup. For several years now, FIFA has made the development of women referees a priority including multiplying the number of events and selecting top women referees for top men's football.

Kari Seitz, Head of Women's Refereeing at FIFA: "We are delighted to be working with the Maurice Revello Tournament as part of the Road to Australia & New Zealand project. This very special competition will give the referees a chance to referee excellent football at a very high level, where they can showcase their skills in the hope of being selected for next year's Women's World Cup.

For three weeks, the 36 participating referees from 21 different countries will attend specific daily training sessions, video match analysis sessions, and officiate at matches in the tournament.

The Maurice Revello Tournament welcomes this unique and historic collaboration. Through this initiative, the organisation of the International Festival Espoirs continues to prove its commitment to the principle of universality, as demonstrated each year by the invitation of teams from all horizons, or more recently by the creation of the Sud Ladies Cup in 2018, the female equivalent of the Maurice Revello Tournament.

Becoming a partner of FIFA in order to contribute to the development of women's refereeing and to accompany referees from all continents is an opportunity to which the organisation of the International Hopefuls Festival immediately and naturally subscribed. Men's and women's football must be put on the same footing and it is with this conviction that the Maurice Revello Tournament is proud and honoured to participate in this world-class event.

Kari Seitz - Head of Women's Refereeing at FIFA

"In addition to the high-level competition, FIFA refereeing will also organise a seminar, as well as daily practical training on the pitch and match reporting during the tournament. It is important to use every minute of this important competition to prepare referees mentally, physically and technically for the FIFA Women's World Cup. This is especially important given the devastating effects of COVID and the loss of nearly two years of training and preparation together. This important new relationship with the Maurice Revello Tournament could not have come at a better time."

Alain Revello - President of the Maurice Revello Tournament

"A new world experience

Nearly fifty years after having had the idea of bringing together the best "Espoirs" of the football world in the South of France, the Tournament created by Maurice Revello is preparing to live a new world adventure: giving women from all continents the opportunity to referee a men's tournament renowned as a football laboratory.

While many players who have passed through the tournament have become standard bearers of this game that is so fascinating, we very much hope that during the seminar organised by FIFA during this 48th edition, we will discover many women who will shine at the FIFA World Cup in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.

Personally, I would like to thank Kari Seitz for putting her trust in us. From our first meeting in Paris in 2019, I understood the importance of the tournament for him. Not only in sporting terms, but also philosophically. This Tournament, which is watched worldwide by fans and observers from the world's biggest clubs, finally offers the opportunity to put men and women on an equal footing. And it is these ladies who will have the privilege of directing the players. Let us dare to use the words of the poet: "Women are the future of refereeing".

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