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Irish referee O'Neill selected for next year's Women's World Cup

The Wexford native will officiate at next summer’s tournament in France.

IRELAND WILL BE represented at next summer’s Fifa Women’s World Cup after Michelle O’Neill was selected to officiate at the tournament in France.

The Wexford native, who ran the line during the 2015 World Cup in Canada, has been named as one of 48 assistant referees for next year’s finals, which take place between 7 June and 7 July.

Michelle O'Neill O'Neill regularly officiates in the League of Ireland. Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

O’Neill is well known in Irish football circles, regularly officiating as an assistant referee in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, as well as taking charge of fixtures in the  Women’s National League.

The 39-year-old was the first Irish woman to officiate at a Women’s World Cup in 2015, while earlier this year she ran the line in the Women’s U20 World Cup final between Japan and Spain. 

Colin Bell’s Ireland failed to qualify for France 2019 after finishing third in their qualification group behind Norway and Netherlands. 

Meanwhile, England will host the Women’s European Championships in 2021, it was announced today. 

Wembley has been earmarked to host the final of the competition with Brighton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Peterborough, Rotherham and Sheffield the other proposed host cities.

“Bringing Euro 2021 to England will be a tremendous opportunity to celebrate women’s football and will allow us to amplify our significant commitment to growing the game,” said the Football Association’s chief executive Martin Glenn in a statement.

“We cannot underestimate the positive impact this tournament will have on inspiring the next generation,” he added.

England have never won a major international trophy in the women’s game, but are expected to challenge for the World Cup next summer in France under Phil Neville. 

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Ryan Bailey

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