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Two NZ officials at FIFA Futsal World Cup

New Zealanders  Antony Riley and Chris Sinclair have both been selected by FIFA to officiate at the FIFA Men's Futsal World Cup
New Zealand referees Antony Riley.(left) and Chris Sinclair( (right) have been confirmed as officials by FIFA at the Mean's Futsal World Cup. PHOTO: SHANE WENZLICK/PHOTOTEK

New Zealanders Antony Riley and Chris Sinclair have both been selected by FIFA to officiate at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Uzbekistan in September..


The highly-rated duo officiated in Argentina’s Futsal National Championship in May after impressing during the OFC Futsal Champions League in New Caledonia in April.


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It will be Riley’s second FIFA Futsal World Cup and his last active participation as a match official across football and futsal.


His career started at the age of seven “running the line” with his Dad in Horowhenua and Manawatu before embarking on a journey that has taken him all around the world.


“Yeah, it does have a little bit of extra special nature to it," said Riley.


“Being able to represent New Zealand Football, Oceania Football Confederation and FIFA in Uzbekistan for me will bring a close to 30 plus years of being a match official across both football and futsal, which is extra special."


“It is a privilege being able to represent your national association and in a refereeing scenario your confederation and colleagues on the international stage, as it is for players and coaches,” Riley added.


The World Cup this year will add to Riley's already long list of officiating achievements such as the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania, the 2018 Youth Olympics Games, various Oceania tournaments and has been on the FIFA Futsal International List since 2016.



Sinclair has an equally impressive resume, having attended the last two Futsal World Cups in Colombia and Lithuania, meaning Uzbekistan will be the third time attending the sports pinnacle event, and second with his good friend Riley.


“Everyone strives to get to a World Cup, and obviously that’s the highest rank that you can probably get to as a match official. To go and to fly the flag again, it’s the key to what all match officials strive to do. So really looking forward to it,” said Sinclair.


The FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 39 match officials from all six confederations. Two women referees, Oriana Andreina Zambrano Medina from Venezuela and Anelize Meire Schulz of Brazil form part of the list of officials.


Following the successful implementation of Video Support (VS) at the previous tournament in Lithuania in 2021, VS will be used again with an additional four cameras covering the touchlines to help match officials make decisions.


This is the first FIFA tournament to be held in Central Asia, all matches will be played in three host cities, Andijan, Bukhara and Tashkent.

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