The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will feature both the Olyroos and Matildas for the first time since Athens 2004, but there will be four more Australians representing our nation at the elite level when the Games – postponed a year due to the global impacts of COVID-19 – kick-off in July.
Australian Match Officials Chris Beath (Referee), Kate Jacewicz (Referee), Ashley Beecham (Assistant Referee), and Anton Shchetinin (Assistant Referee) have each been selected by FIFA’s Referees Committee among the 99 strong panel to officiate men’s and women’s football fixtures in Japan.
The panel is made up of 25 referees, 50 assistant referees, 20 video match officials, and four support referees from 51 nations, and for Beath, Jacewicz, Beecham, and Shchetinin, Tokyo will mark each match official’s debut at an Olympic Games.
Beath, Jacewicz, Beecham, and Schetinin are all highly regarded within both local and global match official circles, with the quartet having been on the FIFA Panel of International Referees since 2011 (Beath and Jacewicz), 2013 (Beecham), and 2016 (Shchetinin) respectively.
Earlier this year Jacewicz was also named as one of four Australian match officials to have been selected as candidates from over 750 FIFA referees and assistant referees worldwide for the ‘Road to AUS/NZL’ project.
The Tokyo 2020 Women’s Football Tournament opens on 21 July 2021 with Great Britain facing Chile at the Sapporo Dome, and concludes with the gold medal game on 6 August 2021 with the Final at the Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, which will also be the setting for the Olympic Games’ opening and closing ceremonies.
The men’s competition begins on 22 July 2021 with Egypt versus Spain at the Sapporo Dome, with the gold medal game taking place on 7 August 2021 at the International Stadium, Yokohama.
The preparation of the appointed match officials for these important competitions will be regularly and closely monitored before and during the Olympic Games by a team of technical trainers, including FIFA referees and video assistant referee (VAR) instructors, fitness coaches, physiotherapists and sports scientists, providing the referees, assistant referees and video assistant referees with the best possible preparation and support.
The tournaments, which will include the use of VAR technology for the first time at an Olympic event, represent for the match officials the next important step on the road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.