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Referee Mahsa Qorbani Broadens Her Horizons

Referee Mahsa Qorbani Broadens Her HorizonsReferee Mahsa Qorbani Broadens Her Horizons

Mahsa Qorbani, an Iranian woman football referee who has judged several international women and men’s matches, is making headlines worldwide.

Qorbani, 29, began her career as a referee at the age of 20. Her name has been on the Asian Football Confederation’s list of elite referees due to her good performance. She says her ambition is to judge matches in World Cup competitions, Iran Front Page reported.

Although all eyes are on Alireza Faghani because of his presence in FIFA World Cup in Russia, Qorbani is at the centre of attention too due to her presence in international football.

In a recent interview with Shahrvand newspaper, she talked about her career. Qorbani said she was interested in the character of referees when she watched football matches on TV at a young age and wanted to become a referee.

“Finally I entered the football world in 2006. At the beginning, I was an amateur goalkeeper for one of Tehran clubs” where she stayed for two years, she said.

Later she enrolled in a refereeing course in 2008 and began refereeing in the Iran League in 2009.

“While I was working as a referee in the Iran League, the AFC sent a letter to the Football Federation of Iran saying they needed a referee no older than 25 years. I met their requirements and judged matches in the U-14 Asian Competitions for five years.”

Qorbani passed a refereeing course held by the AFC in 2016 and after that the confederation introduced her as an international referee in 2017. Her portfolio includes refereeing the AFC Cup qualifiers and the Asian Youth Games.

She is also the first Iranian woman who has also judged men’s matches. Elaborating on her experience she says, “When I was judging the U-14 games in the Maldives, I was appointed to referee a men’s match. I was referee at a game between two teams from the Maldives’ 2nd Division League. It was a very good experience. I would be happy to referee men’s football matches again”.

She makes it a point to follow matches judged by successful referees. Among Iranians, “I always watch games refereed by Alireza Faghani and try to model my performance after him,” Qorbani said. She wished Faghani and his assistants’ success in the upcoming World Cup. Her biggest hope is refereeing in the World Cup contests, especially the final match. She has been nominated referee in the AFC Cup 2019.

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