By Farrokh Hesabi

Female referee Nazemi supports Iranian women

July 18, 2021 - 18:28

TEHRAN - Gelareh Nazemi, the Iranian elite female referee, believes that Iranian women can achieve high levels of success in international refereeing as well as other fields of sports.

She has recently been selected to officiate at the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania.

As a trailblazer in the Iranian refereeing community, Nazemi wants to do her best in the upcoming tournament.

In an exclusive interview with Tehran Times, the Iranian official talked about the experience of officiating in the men’s competitions:

“It’s a great feeling to be the representative of Iranian futsal – and football– in the World Cup. It was the target that I set for myself after whistling the final match of the 2018 Youth Olympics Women's Futsal Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now I am grateful that I’ve been able to make my dreams come true.

“I have officiated in the men’s futsal competitions in the past. It is more difficult than whistling in women’s matches. In terms of physical contact and the game's speed, you will face more challenges in male competitions.

“Also, as a referee who has worked both in football and futsal, I can say that refereeing in futsal is much more difficult than in football because it’s full of clashes and you have to decide in a fraction of a second!” she said.

Nazemi has also officiated in the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship and the UEFA Women’s Futsal Euro 2019 semi-final contest between Spain and Russia in Portugal.

She explained about the difficulty that she has faced on the way to glory: “It is a path that I started 20 years ago. During all these years, I tried with perseverance and motivation to fight all the problems in my path because I believed in my goal. People have often said that women aren’t good referees. I used it as a motivating tool. I’m sure that it will not take 20 years for those who have followed this path after me, and they will reach their goal much sooner. It is because that some of the problems that I faced in my career have been solved over the years. However, the situation is still difficult for the Iranian female referees,” Nazemi concluded.

The 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be held from Sept. 12 to Oct. 3 in Lithuania.

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