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Lucy May, a referee from Portsmouth, has been specially selected to attend the Dallas Cup Youth Football Tournament in the USA.
The Dallas Cup tournament is staged over a seven-day period ending on Easter Sunday and many of the world's premier clubs including Tigres (Mexico), Eintracht Frankfurt, Manchester United, Everton, Paris Saint Germain, Boca Juniors (Argentina), will compete in the tournament.
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. 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. The FA is fully committed to providing improvement opportunities for referees who are involved in the National Referee Development Programme."
Lucy said: "When I found out I had been selected for Dallas I was ecstatic. This opportunity has been a stepping stone for so many of our top officials and to be given the opportunity is fantastic and something I will ensure I embrace fully. I am looking forward to it and hope it will help me in my bid for promotion."
George McCaffery, a referee coach and group leader, added: "This is a great opportunity for referees to experience the challenges associated with International football whilst also developing their own personality. Being a group member of a prominent tournament referee panel creates a positive learning environment for them."
Brian Le Breton, the Hampshire County FA, Referee Development Manager, said: "To be one of only eight referees to be selected by the Football Association to attend this prestigious tournament is a great achievement for Lucy, who has been a referee for only seven years and has been part of the County Referee Development Programme. Her selection is a reflection of the hard work and commitment she has shown in the support of local football. We wish her every success."
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