“She’s going to the games in Europe.” For the first time in history, a match between RPL teams will be refereed by a woman!

“She’s going to the games in Europe.” For the first time in history, a match between RPL teams will be refereed by a woman!

Ulyana Lukyanchenko September 18, 2023, 16:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.

A busy September in Vera Opeikina’s career.

Vera Opeikina, 34, will become the main referee of the men’s Russian Cup match between Baltika and Krylya Sovetov; The match will be played on September 19. She is the first woman to act as the main referee in a match between RPL teams. Her assistants will be Dmitry Mosyakin and Valentin Murashov.

By the way, the game should not be considered passable under any circumstances. If Baltika has three wins out of three in the cup (including a home win over Zenit), Krylia also has three out of three, with only three defeats. And the Kaliningrad fiasco could be fatal for the Samaritans. Especially if Akhmat does not lose at home to Zenit.

But back to Vera Opeikina. A week earlier it was learned that she and her team had been assigned to an international match between women’s teams. This is the first appointment of Russian referees for a UEFA tournament in a year and a half. Opeikina will serve the national teams of Armenia and Kazakhstan in the second round of the Women’s Nations League, this tournament being held for the first time. The match will be played almost immediately after the Russian Cup match on September 26 in Armavir.

Former RPL referee Igor Fedotov explained that the appointment for an international match contributed to Opeikina’s selection as the main referee among the RPL teams in the Cup:

Igor Fedotov

former RPL referee

“He has to go to the games in Europe, he needs to prepare. Let’s see how it works. The fact that it works for a match between RPL teams is one level; Normally these games are given to watch people watch games in the RPL. “They try to look for talented referees and here they look at Opeikina.”

For Opeikina this is not a debut in the men’s Russian Cup. On August 21, Vera played in the second round match of the Path of the Regions between Chertanovo and Dynamo Kirov leading an all-female referee team, along with Ekaterina Kurochkina and Elena Sobchuk. The match ended with a score of 1:0 in favor of the Kirov team, the referee showed five yellow cards. The only goal of that match was scored by Ilya Yurchenko in first-half stoppage time.

Vera Opeikina

Photo: fc-zenit.ru

Opeikina is from Chelyabinsk and played mini soccer. After finishing her degree, Vera worked on mini-soccer teams and then became a referee. Since 2009, Opeikina has been working in the Russian women’s football championship. Her debut in men’s football came in 2019, in the FNL Cup match between Pyunik and Krasnodar-2. Since 2020, Opeykina is on the list of referees recommended to work on RPL matches and has the necessary FIFA license as a main referee and video assistant. Since 2021, Vera has regularly worked on matches in the Men’s Second League, and in March 2022, Opeikina worked on the Rubin-Rostov match in the RPL as a VAR assistant.

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Vera Opeikina is a FIFA certified referee. She is one of the main referees of Russian women’s football: the Super League and the Russian Cup. Prior to this, Opeikina received assignments for matches of the youth, youth and main women’s national teams, including refereeing in several qualifying matches for Euro 2022. In June this year, Opeikina was the main referee of the Russian Super Cup between Zenit and CSKA, a match between Russian women’s teams in which the VAR system was used for the first time. Therefore, an appointment for a Cup match, and even for matches between RPL teams, is a logical step in professional development. In which, of course, we wish you the best of luck!

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