Esther Staubli of Switzerland will become first ever female referee to officiate a FIFA U-17 World Cup match when Japan take on New Caledonia in a Group E match in Kolkata on Saturday.

With this, the apex football body aims to promote women participation and develop women’s football at large.

Staubli came to India with six women referees, nominated by FIFA’s Referees Committee for the U-17 World Cup.

Earlier, all the women referees attended a series of seminars, theoretical sessions in the classroom and practical sessions on the field of play.

FIFA’s Refereeing Department started an educational programme back in 2016, an initiative that will eventually result on Saturday.

The 38-year-old displayed tremendous results and improvements in the joint preparations. With her determination, she exhibited that the time has come for elite female referees to officiate in men’s competitions together with their male colleagues.

(With inputs from agencies)