The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have begun with a bang for Australian football, with the Matildas defeating New Zealand 2-1 in Tokyo last night, and the Olyroos set to take on Argentina in Sapporo this evening at 8.30pm AEST.
However, while our Matildas and Olyroos may grab most of the attention of football fans, there are several other Australians at Tokyo 2020 that will play a crucial role in both the men’s and women’s football tournaments.
At 5pm local time (6pm AEST) today, Australian match officials Chris Beath (Referee), Anton Shchetinin (Assistant Referee 1), and George Lakrindis (Assistant Referee 2) will team up alongside Bamlaku Tessema Weyesa from Ethiopia (4th Official), Ming Fu from China (Video Assistant Referee) and Abdulkadir Btgen from Turkey (Assistant Video Assistant Referee) to officiate the men’s Group A clash between Mexico and France.
The Mexico-France match-up will take place at the Tokyo Stadium – scene of last night’s victory for the Matildas over New Zealand.
One of Australia’s leading female referees, Kate Jacewicz, is also in Japan to officiate the women’s tournament, and while Jacewicz didn’t whistle on matchday one, she is expected to receive an appointment for the second matchday of the women’s tournament this Saturday.
Football Australia recognises Beath, Jacewicz, Shchetinin, and Lakrindis (who received a call up to the Tokyo 2020 Match Officials Delegation following an unfortunate injury to Ashley Beecham) for their representation of Australian football, and Australia’s refereeing community, at Tokyo 2020.