The expansion of 'You-Are-The-Ref.com' into North America is to be spearheaded by the most famous name in the history of the women's game.
Sonia Denoncourt – widely acknowledged to be the finest female referee of her generation – has been appointed as YATR's Academy Director / North America, as the hugely-popular and provocative website launches in North America.
Fifty-two year old, Quebec-born Denoncourt is a former Head of Women's Referee Development at FIFA and was the first woman ever to hold the position of Director of Arbitration at CONCACAF.
"Sonia is vastly experienced and one of the most respected figures in world refereeing," said YATR Director, Jock Waugh. "Her credentials are impeccable and I believe her to be admirably suited to leading our North America Academy. I feel certain that she will both inspire our Academy members and will add much to our already impressive team of officials."
In a glittering career, Denoncourt refereed three Women’s World Cup Finals (1995, 1999, 2003), two Olympic Games finals (1996, 2000) and, in 1997, became the first woman ever to referee a professional men’s game in Brazil when she took charge of the meeting between Sao Jose Exporte and SociedadeEsportivaPalmeiras.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the YATR team at what is a very exciting and challenging point in the continuing development of football in North America," said Denoncourt. "Football needs open and frank debate, it needs the input of supporters, and that is precisely what YATR provides.
"American kids are pretty much the same as European kids in that they dream of making the grade and becoming a professional player – but what we mustn’t forget is that many will also want to become referees. YATR will provide them with insight, knowledge and the advice of experts in their field. It really is a unique proposition," she added.