Socceroos to be part of Asian Cup history

The Socceroos will be part of Asian Cup history on Saturday night when Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita becomes the first ever woman to referee a match in the continental tournament.

Yamashita, 37, will control proceedings in Australia’s Group B clash with India at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.

She will be joined by assistant referees Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi, with the trio also having made history previously by becoming the first women officials to officiate in the AFC Cup, AFC Champions League and J1 League (2023).

Yamashita, who secured her FIFA badge in 2015, also refereed the opening match of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, and officiated in two more games during the tournament that was held in Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Iran-born, Brisbane-based A-League referee Alireza Faghani will officiate the Asian Cup’s opening game on Friday night between Qatar and Lebanon in Doha.

Australian pair Anton Shchetinin and Ashley Beecham will be the game’s assistant referees, while fellow A-League officials Shaun Evans and Kate Jacewicz will have the respective roles of VAR and assistant VAR.

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