• Monica Amboya, Claudia Umpierrez and Luciana Mascarana warm up (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Three female referees have made FIFA World Cup history after officiating a men's match between Angola and Canada.
By
Ricardo Setyon

31 Oct 2019 - 6:25 PM  UPDATED 31 Oct 2019 - 6:25 PM

It could have been a completely normal game taking place in Brazil during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup (which you can WATCH LIVE on SBS).

But the 1,032 people in attendance were able to witness an important part of football's history during Angola's last-minute 2-1 win.

At the 2017 Under-17 World Cup, three women served as assistant referees for a match but this time, three brave women took full charge.

While FIFA have long forgotten the praises for the high-level female referees seen in recent Women's World Cups, here in Brazil, the scenario is the opposite. 

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After seeing female referees successfully officiate high-level men’s matches such as the UEFA Super Cup and AFC Asian Cup, FIFA decided Brazil was the perfect opportunity to launch a female referee and her two assistants, calling the shots at a men's World Cup.

'The Chosen Ones' as they were called within the FIFA Refereeing department here at the organisation's headquarters in Brazil, are three South American women - two of them, from the same country.

Claudia Umpierrez, from Uruguay, was chosen to be the referee in that match, assisted by Luciana Mascarana also from Uruguay and by Ecuador's Monica Amboya.

And they did not disappoint.

The trio - considered by CONMEBOL (The South American Football Confederation) as the very best of all female referees - performed admirably throughout.

“It was not an easy job at all, quite the opposite … I thought it would be easier than it really was”, Umpierrez said.

When the stress of the game was at its highest peak, Umpierrez ruled out a possible Angola goal at 1-1 in the 90th minute.

But their was a further twist, with Angola scoring a last-minute winner in injury time to secure victory and a spot in the next phase of the World Cup.

Mission Accomplished.

That was the card the trio of referees found once they entered the dressing room, after the match.

A taboo is broken. A page of history is written.

A new stage for women and their empowerment in football.