PRO referees on the international stage: Six officials work Women's World Cup final

WWC refs

Five PRO referees worked last Sunday's Women's World Cup final between Spain and England, continuing a milestone period for the organization that has occurred across the past nine months.

Prior to the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup, no PRO official had been selected for a senior World Cup final.

The breakthrough achievements started at the men's World Cup in December, when Ismail Elfath was appointed as the fourth official for the final between Argentina and France in Qatar. He was joined by Kathryn Nesbitt (reserve assistant referee), Kyle Atkins (offside VAR) and Corey Parker (standby AVAR).

In Sunday's Women's World Cup final, five new names joined the list. With Nesbitt also working the final, an impressive total of six PRO referees worked the marquee event.

Tori Penso was named as the referee for the final, becoming the first American to referee a senior World Cup final. She was joined by assistant referees Brooke Mayo and Nesbitt, who became the first person to officiate in both a men’s and women’s World Cup final. Armando Villarreal was support VAR, resuming the role he assumed for the playoff for third place in Qatar.

Canadian officials Carol Anne Chenard (standby VAR) and Drew Fischer (standby AVAR) were also assigned to the women’s World Cup final, giving PRO a total of nine officials who have been selected to oversee a senior World Cup final – all in the last tournament cycle.

"We could not be happier for the nine officials who have represented PRO at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup," PRO general manager and longtime MLS official Mark Geiger said. "They have shown that officiating in North America and in the leagues that PRO services is among the best in the world. I have been fortunate to have worked on the field with many of these officials and have seen first-hand their dedication and commitment to the game and to their craft.

"Managing them as the Director of Senior Match Officials and now as the current GM has been a special experience as they exemplify all that PRO stands for, officiating each match with humility and integrity. They have been and will continue to be role models in the officiating community, showing what it means to be a referee both on and off the field."