Three NZF refs at FIFA U-20 WC

Matt Conger will be joined by Simon Lount and Nick Waldron at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.photosport.nz

New Zealand Football will have three referees at the FIFA U-20 World Cup which kicks off in the Korea Republic tomorrow.

Matt Conger (Referee), Simon Lount (Assistant referee), who both represented OFC and New Zealand Football at the Rio Olympics last year, will be joined by Nick Waldron (Video Assistant Referee) in the tournament from 20 May – 11 June.

The trio are lapping up the opportunity to be full-time referees with the professional and detailed resources that FIFA puts in to ensure a quality experience for all.

“It’s tremendous news that New Zealand Football has three referees at the FIFA U-20 World Cup,” said Ken Wallace, the New Zealand Football Referee Development Manager.

“They’ve recently been at FIFA Seminars in Coverciano and Agadir and this is an opportunity to showcase their ability on the world stage but also continue their development as international referees.”

Conger (2001), Lount (2008) and Waldron (2004) have been part of the NZF Referee Development Academy process for a long time.

Wallace said they have demonstrated that hard work, plenty of minutes perfecting their craft and the work being done in the Federations and by NZF means that you can start on council grounds with five spectators and go to FIFA World Cup stadia with 50,000 viewing live and millions more watching on TV.

“Their continued appointment to these world tournaments shows the quality of their performances at other such events such as the Rio Olympics, 2015 and 2016 Club Word Cup, the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand and the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile,” said Wallace.

“There is a lot of pressure to perform but I am sure that they will represent New Zealand Football well.”

When the referees return to New Zealand they will be sharing their coaching and learning with other referees in New Zealand to improve performances here in what remains of winter competitions and the National League, the ISPS Handa Premiership in 2017 – 18.

The New Zealand U-20s have drawn Vietnam, Honduras and France as they look to back up the heroics from the 2015 team who made it through to the Round of 16 in New Zealand.

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