Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation announced on Tuesday that for the first time an all-female referee team will take charge of a men’s continental club cup clash.
Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita and assistants Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi will officiate the AFC Cup match between Myanmar’s Yangon United and Cambodia’s Naga World at the Thuwunna Stadium on Wednesday.
“This will be the first time three female referees preside in the Asian Football Confederation’s club competitions, marking a new milestone in Asian refereeing,” the AFC said in a statement.
The AFC Cup is the second-string Asian club competition, a rung below the Champions League.
Women officials have only previously been employed as assistant referees in AFC Cup matches, with Australians Sarah Ho and Alysson Flynn becoming the first in 2014.
“This is one of my dreams,” said the experienced Yamashita, who officiated in the 2016 and 2018 Fifa Under 17 Women’s World Cup and 2018 Women’s Asian Cup. “We’ve worked very hard and this is the result.”