By PATRICIA KEAMO
PAPUA New Guinea’s top football referee David Yareboinen has created history after being appointed as a support referee for next month’s Fifa Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Papua New Guinea Football Association refereeing boss Jimmy Warai confirmed with The National yesterday that Yareboinen was the first referee from the country to officiate in a Club World Cup.
“Yareboinen is the first (referee) from PNG to officiate in a Club World Cup,” he said of the East Sepik and Milne Bay native.
“But there are many other PNG referees who have attended Fifa-sanctioned tournaments.”
Fifa’s referees committee yesterday named 23 match officials, including Yareboinen, for the Feb 3-12 Club World Cup.
The 30-year-old is a regular Oceania Football Confederation referee and is no stranger to officiating Fifa-sanctioned international matches.
Yareboinen was one of 52 match officials from around the world who attended a Fifa seminar in Qatar in October.
Officiating in the Club World Cup will bring him closer to his dream of one day being the first Papua New Guinean referee to be appointed for a senior Fifa World Cup. According to Fifa, the match officials will complete their final preparations in UAE a few days prior to kick-off.
Seven out of the 23 match officials will be video assistant referees during the tournament.
After assisting from the sideline since 2013, Yareboinen stepped onto the pitch in 2017 as a referee and this would be his sixth year to oversee Fifa-sanctioned events.
In 2019, he was appointed as a fourth official for the Under-20 World Cup in Poland. Yareboinen is the only match official from the confederation to be selected for this year’s Club World Cup.
By PATRICIA KEAMO