Female ref keen for replay after Uefa bow

editorial image
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett was handed a fresh Fratton Park contract this week  Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey statement defies football’s knee-jerk nature

Have your say

Having already kept the men in check, female referee Paula Wyatt is looking to rise through the ranks in the women’s game.

The 24-year-old, from Portsmouth, regularly officiates games in the Wessex League.

And Wyatt’s efforts in the men’s game have now been recognised by the FA with her selection as fourth official for the Uefa Women’s Champions League tie between Bristol Academy and Raheny United.

Wyatt began her referring career after coaching football and seeing the lack of officials at the lower levels.

Along with her father Steve, she went on an FA course and is now a level four official – which means she can officiate games in the Wessex League as well as run the line at Ryman League and Conference level.

Despite officiating at this level for less than a year, her contributions have not gone unnoticed.

Wyatt said: ‘I was really surprised to get the call-up, especially as this is my first year at level four.

‘I initially missed the call so had to wait a further 24 hours until I found out.

‘It was my job to check all the team sheets were correct, do all the passport checks of the players, check boots and jewellery and make sure the electronic boards were working, so there was a lot to do.

‘I was the only English official – the other three were from Germany.

‘We were together for three days to ensure we could get a chemistry.

‘And, thankfully, they all spoke very good English!

‘This small taste of the European game has definitely given me the motivation to be more involved.’

With the Uefa experience under her belt, Wyatt now wants to push on further.

Her ambition is to earn the chance to travel the world and officiate in more matches.

But for the opportunity to present itself, Wyatt must keep performing well in front of assessors and maintain a steady flow of games.

She added: ‘You have to meet a certain quota from the FA, so you need to officiate in at least 20 games and be assessed on three of them.

‘I’ve just got to keep involved in the woman’s game for the opportunities to present themselves.

‘Next up is achieving level five in the men’s game but, ultimately, I want to become a Fifa referee.’