Local referee Lisa Benn from Pevensey Bay, East Sussex, has been specially selected to attend the 2015 Dallas Cup Youth Football Tournament in the USA, next week.
The Dallas Cup tournament is staged over a seven day period ending on Easter Sunday and uses two multi-field venues and the Cotton Bowl, 80,000 capacity, used for the opening ceremony and major matches, including all finals.
Many of the world’s premier clubs have played there including Coritiba FC & Corinthians (Brazil), Everton (England), Valencia CF (Spain), CF Monterrey (Mexico), Tigres UANL (Mexico), CA River Plate (Argentina).
Ian Blanchard, Senior National Game Referee Manager at the Football Association said, “Many consider the Dallas Cup referee corps to be one of the best for a youth tournament. World Class referees, some of which are FIFA referees with past World Cup appointments, take part in the tournament, providing the opportunity for these referees to operate with a variety of officials.”
Benn said, “I was very excited when I was first told that I had been selected by the FA to attend the Dallas Cup. It will give me the opportunity to develop skills that will be of benefit throughout my career, especially the ability to officiate teams that do not speak English whilst considering the different cultures. Plus the whole experience of travelling to Texas will create great opportunities for me.”
The group is being led by George McCaffery, a FA referee coach. McCaffery added, “The Football Association has identified this development opportunity and funds a place for eight candidates who are chosen from each of the Regional Referee Development Groups.
“They go through a thorough selection process, culminating in officiating at a Premier League Youth Tournament in October, to ensure we select the best eight candidates.”
Paul Saunders, the Sussex County Referee Development Officer said, “To be one of only eight referees to be selected to attend this prestigious tournament is a great achievement. Lisa has been a referee for 10 years. Her selection is a reflection of the hard work and commitment she has shown in the support of local football.”