Delphine Joel in action at HFC Bank stadium in Suva during the OFC WOmen’s Nations up in Fiji, match between Cook Islands and Tonga. PC:OFC

Vanuatu’s female referee Delphine Joel has set her aim to achieve a FIFA badge.

Joel was the first Vanuatu referee to control matches during the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Women’s Nations Cup in Fiji last month.

The 24-year-old from Hiu in Torres said the tournament was a good experience and she has learnt a lot of things from it. Joel said she had already set an example for women in refereeing and now she wants to get a recognition from the FIFA, the international governing body of football.

“What I want to do for my country is to involve more females in the field of referee like me. Also, I want to improve myself and get to another level as far being part of overseas tournament,” she told the Daily Post Sports.

“I am aiming to get a FIFA badge.”

Currently, Joel is still continuing education at the same time involving in referee. She started refereeing when she was in college and officially became an OFC Referee this year.

President of the Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) and OFC President, Lambert Maltock, said Joel is the best female referee in Vanuatu.

He said Joel started her carrier with humbleness, discipline and commitment, making her secure a spot at the OFC Women’s tournament.

“Her last performance during the tournament being the fourth official of the final match between PNG and Fiji was just excellent. This made me very proud of her,” said Maltock.

“During the final match, she was also awarded alongside her Oceania officials Gold Medal. I want to congratulate her for this achievement and encourage her to continue to battle and look ahead for a FIFA badge,” he said.

Joel added that despite her and family members having no background in football, she managed to become a football referee and that is a milestone for her. She said she hopes this is an inspiration to other young females interested in pursuing a career in the same field.