BANGOR-BORN Cheryl Foster officiated on the biggest stage of all, refereeing a game at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup yesterday (July 24).

She oversaw the Brazil-Panama group stage match, where an Ary Borges hattrick led Brazil to a 4-0 win.

The former Cymru international, who also officiates in the JD Cymru Premier and Genero Adran Premier, was named on the FIFA International Referees List in December 2015 and was promoted to the UEFA Elite List of Referees in the 2020/21 campaign.

Ms Foster’s selection for the World Cup comes following a successful 2022 in a year that saw her take charge of two UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 group-stage games and the semi-final between Germany and France.

She also oversaw two matches in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and was the Fourth Official for the final between Spain and Japan.

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Ms Foster, who is the first Welsh official to be called up to the biggest stage since Clive Thomas took charge of a game at the 1978 FIFA Men’s World Cup, became the first Welsh woman to referee at a World Cup.

Speaking after her appointment, Ms Foster said: “I am honoured that I have been given the opportunity to represent my country refereeing at the World Cup this summer.

“In the last 10 years I’ve put a lot of hard work and commitment in, and this is what I have been working towards. I’m looking forward to officiating the best players on the world stage.”

FAW Match Officials Manager Lee Evans added: “This is absolutely fantastic news, and to have the opportunity to referee in a World Cup is something referees dream of.

“I am extremely proud of Cheryl’s achievements and of this historic appointment. This shows what hard work and dedication can bring.”