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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 24 October 2020

An Irishwoman will be one of the officials in charge of this Sunday's World Cup final

Michelle O’Neill will be an assistant referee for the match between USA and Netherlands.

IT HAS BEEN confirmed that Wexford native Michelle O’Neill will serve as an Assistant Referee for this Sunday’s Fifa Women’s World Cup final between USA and Netherlands in Lyon.

O’Neill has already officiated a number of games at the tournament, including the quarter-final between Germany and Sweden, after it was confirmed back in December that she would be one of 48 assistant referees working at the competition

The 40-year-old is an experienced official at League of Ireland and Women’s National League level, while also working in other Uefa and Fifa-affiliated competitions, though Sunday’s clash will undoubtedly be the most high-profile game she has ever been involved in.

It is not O’Neill’s first World Cup, however, having also been one of the officials selected for the 2015 competition in Canada.

In a recent interview with The42, O’Neill spoke of the challenges that come with being a female referee.

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“At the end of the day, we’re all match officials, we’re all here to do a job,” she said. “My team accepts me and respects me. But you do feel like you have to prove yourself to the world all the time. That has to change.”

Meanwhile, Stéphanie Frappart of France has been confirmed as the referee for Sunday’s final. Manuela Nicolosi, also from France, will join O’Neill on the sidelines, while Uruguay’s Claudia Umpierrez will serve as fourth official for the game.

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Paul Fennessy

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