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New Caledonia hold Japan in U-17 World Cup game refereed by woman

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New Caledonia hold Japan in U-17 World Cup game refereed by woman

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(Reuters) – New Caledonia claimed their first point at a FIFA tournament after drawing 1-1 with Japan at the Under-17 World Cup on Saturday, in a match also notable for the fact that it was refereed by a woman. Switzerland’s Esther Staubli became the first female referee in the tournament’s history after overseeing the match in the Indian city of Kolkata. Staubli, 38, is part of a seven-strong contingent of female officials at the tournament, a move initiated by FIFA to help further develop women’s football. Japan are into the knockout rounds after finishing second in Group E behind France, while New Caledonia captain Jekob Jeno’s late goal, which cancelled out Keito Nakamura’s first-half strike, was not enough to prevent his team bowing out. New Caledonia finished bottom of the group after conceding 13 goals in their three matches and their midfielder Neil Wahiobe picked up the only yellow card of the game for a 90th-minute foul.

(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)
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