In 2016 Mexico’s Torneode Apertura will kick-off with the debut of three female referees,who will make history and become the first women toofficiate in the country’s men’s top tier league.
The Torneo de Apertura is the first of two short tournaments that make up the country’s top league Liga Mx, Apertura (Opening) and Clausura (Closing), a relatively recent innovation for many Latin American football leagues.
Mayte Ivonne Chávez García, Karen Janett Díaz Medina and Enedina Caudillo Gómez were appointed by the Liga MX and the Mexican Referee’s Association as a step forward in promoting gender balance at Mexico’s top level football. The move is also looking to open up opportunities for women referees and encourage women to take up football refereeing.
During a press conference Mayte Ivonne Chávez García said: “I am very happy. It has been a dream since the start and I have worked towards it since the year 2000. It is a great opportunity.”
When asked about the pressure for female referees at men’s football and experience in similar competitions Mayte explained: “On pitch there is no difference between men and women, we are all referees and we are part of work group that always gives their best.
“We all have international careers, we have officiated in front of thousands of spectators, we have worked in World Cups, Ascenso leagues, there is no extra pressure for us”.
[Photo: FARE Network]