Aug 31, 2008 Sports Comments Off on Guyanese female football referee returns from Beijing Olympics
Leading Guyanese and Regional female football referee Dianne Ferreira-James has returned from duties at the Beijing Olympic Games.
She described the football aspect of the event as a very hectic Tournament. The USA edged 1-0 in extra time, similar to the result of four years ago, to claim Olympic gold. She informed that this time it was with different officials in a European Trio.
USA being part of CONCACAF, from which Ferreira-James represents, makes it difficult for her and the other regional officials to referee the finals.
She disclosed that, “All the officials were outstanding and worked as a team in every sense of the word. Traveling back and forth could be very tiring but in the end we enjoyed great moments.”
While in China the Guyanese football referee noted that she enjoyed some amount of privileges, “I visited the Great Wall of China, which was used as a morning training for the referees.
I was honoured to meet Pele and Kobe Bryant and saw many of the super stars in Maradona, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, all the big stars as we were privileged to see them in action live.
Kobe sat just behind me with his wife and kids.” “The experience and memories will live on as this was the best Olympics ever”, she stated.
Of her duties in China, “I was appointed for three games in Sweden verses Argentina/ Germany verses Korea/ Brazil vs Norway. My team of Rita Munoz and Mayte Chavez were simply awesome we enjoyed our games.”
She expressed one desire for her local counterparts, “It would be wonderful if sometime soon my fellow referees can enjoy these very moments. I believe they can with hard work and given opportunity.
It’s difficult to train, train and not get rewards, yes you referee local tournaments but given an international game is a reward in itself.”
She purposed, “I have seven years remaining before I retire unless my body says otherwise. Ten years as a FIFA referee with 77 international games in the middle and I intend to stay healthy, train and improve with every given opportunity.”
While her footballing prowess is extremely important, with a few years left to be active on the pitch, Ferreira-James has been working on life after football, which is an important lesson for young players and officials to note; “I will pursue a degree in Sports Admin and attend as many Courses and Workshops to prepare for an after my refereeing career as an Instructor.”
She expressed gratitude to the GFF, CFU, CONCACAF and FIFA for affording her the opportunity to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Her family, fellow referees and friends for their support and advice during her preparation also came in for recognition.
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