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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 20 September, 2019
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Irish referee Michelle O'Neill picked for the World Cup

The Wexford official has been chosen for this summer’s finals in Canada.

O'Neill officiating in the SSE Airtricity League last season.
O'Neill officiating in the SSE Airtricity League last season.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IRELAND MAY NOT have qualified for this year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup, but the country will be represented by referee Michelle O’Neill at the finals in Canada.

Wexford native O’Neill, who officiates in the Women’s National League (WNL) and the SSE Airtricity League, has been named as one of 44 assistant referees for the tournament — which takes place between 6 June and 5 July.

She becomes only the second Irish referee to be picked for a World Cup finals after Eddie Foley at France ’98.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been invited to officiate at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It’s such an honour to be appointment for such a prestigious event,” said O’Neill.

“I can’t say I’m surprised to have made it but I went out to every event I was asked to go to by FIFA and did my best. I tried to give them nothing for them to possibly not pick me. I tried to be as professional as possible.

It was a great feeling when I received an email on Friday confirming that I was on the panel.

“I’ll be looking now to keep myself as fit as I can be, stay as sharp as possible in terms of speed work and being mentally prepared. I’ll continue doing the offside analysis and training as hard as I can. I want to stay at the top of my game.”

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Ben Blake

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