T&T's Crystal Sobers was voted the second best female referee in Concacaf for 2018. Her placing was decided based on votes among national team head coaches, national team captains, experts from the media in Concacaf and fans across the globe.
Sobers finished second behind Mexico’s Lucila Venegas, while Carol Anne Chenard of Canada placed third. She was the only T&T national nominated in all categories for Concacaf’s best of 2018 awards.
On Wednesday Sobers said she was still coming to terms with the accomplishment but put it down to commitment and perseverance in the field.
“I am still digesting this reward of acknowledgement of my commitment and deliverance on the field of play. I feel really inspired to continue my journey towards excellence,” Sobers told TTFA Media.
Sobers officiated at the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship in 2018, earning a fourth official appointment in the final at IMG Academy in Florida, USA. She also carried the whistle at the CFU Women’s Challenge series, the Central American Women World Cup qualifiers, the CAC Games in Colombia and the CONCACAF Women’s championship (Final round of World Cup qualifiers) in Texas.
“Being passionate about this game, I have accepted that it does not come with a price but more so, the energy that fuels the need to enjoy the game for the best of what it has to offer. The CONCACAF Under-20s was a stepping stone for me being among the Tier 1 refs and excelling to the final as fourth official,” she added.
As to what she believes is her main attributes, Sobers said, “My performance on the field comes from a foundation of calmness and strength. I have learned a lot as a player so understanding the game and the use of my personality towards the players has made it easier for all of us to enjoy the game.”
Sobers wants to see more women get involved in refereeing in T&T and is also encouraging her male compatriots to keep aspiring towards becoming international referees.
“You have to love the game in order to become a referee. It’s not an easy career but once you have a sense of humour, a willingness to listen and endure tiring training sessions on and off the field, the vast opportunities are there to taste this wonderful career in refereeing,” Sobers said.
TTFA President David John-Williams also credited Sobers for her accomplishment, saying her achievement was testimony to her dedication and commitment and urged her to continue striving for excellence in the field along with her other refereeing companions who will be announced as T&T’s officials receiving their FIFA badges for 2019 at a press conference next Wednesday at the Home of Football.
One of T&T’s FIFA’s referees Caleb Wales also extended congratulation to Sobers her on her runner up position for 2018. He said, “She’s the embodiment of hard work paying off. I’ve seen the effort she puts in on and off the field and this second place finish is the result of that effort. She has incredible focus and it will take her far.”