Thursday, October 30, 2008
and hopefully more to come! What an experience in my 1st ever FIFA appointment. It was such an honour to be part of a world cup game! On Wed evening me and my equipo (team), flew to Wellington (about an hour flight) where the game was to be played. We had some difficulty getting our oversized bags, electronic substitution boards, beep flags, and my 'boyfriend' (communication system) onto the plane with us. When we travel for a game, we MUST carry on our bags because if, for some reason, they don't arrive...we would be better to not show up! So, after a bit of sweet talking, we were able to get everything on board.
Once we arrived in Wellington, we were met by our driver "Paul" (I think everyone here is named Paul), who took us on a small tour of Wellington, which is a beautiful habour city. We checked into our hotel, and found out that Rhianna and Chris Brown were staying there too, because they were doing a concert in town that evening. I kindy asked the concierge to not let them bother me for an autograph as I was very tired from my flight! :) Are you kidding...I stayed up as long as I could hoping to see them, but I didn't...too bad!
In the morning we left the hotel at 9:30am, actually no, by the time we left it was almost 10am because my spanish-speaking team did not understand when I told them to bring their white blouse for the game, so they brought their white T'shirt which meant that I had to go back upstairs to change!
We arrived at the stadium and went to do the field walk. This stadium was amazing! They call it the "caketin" because it is perfectly round. They use it for cricket and rugby and the soccer field could be marked north/south or east/west, it is that wide. Apparently there were about 10,000 spectators at the game, but it sure didn't seem like it because they were so far away from the field!
I have to say, walking into the stadium with the FIFA anthem playing, was an amazing experience. I was really excited to be part of all of it. So cool! The number of people who are volunteering is huge, ball boys, flag bearers, etc...
The game itself was also very interesting as you had 2 totally different styles of soccer, but both teams played at a very fast pace. England scored the 1st goal in the 71st min and the Brazillian GK was injured on the play and had to leave the field. Not a minute after the replacement GK came in, England scored again. This really took the wind out of Brazil's sails, and they were not able to regain their composure. Finally, England scored one more goal in the 84th minute to make the final 3-0. I had one yellow card for each team for recklass tackles, and no problems with the players at all. They were very respectful of each other, and of me....it was a great game to referee. I am happy with the job that I did and hope that I did Canada proud.
My next appointment is on Sun as a 4th official for 2 matches in Hamilton. The first game is between USA and Paraguay and the second between France and Japan. These should both be very good games.