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Barbadian referee Gillian Martindale continues to show she is among the world’s best women’s football officials. Martindale is now in Azerbaijan officiating at the prestigious FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, which kicked off last Saturday and will finish on October 22. And only yesterday, she was in the middle, overseeing the Group B match between France and North Korea, after serving as fourth official in last Sunday’s match between Ghana and Germany. Martindale is among just three referees from the North, Central American and Caribbean Zone who have received appointments for the World Cup. The others are Jamaican Cardella Samuels and Alondra Arellano of Mexico. There are six assistant referees from the CONCACAF region, in Elizabeth Aguilar of El Salvador; Milagros Leonardo of the Dominican Republic; Nykasie Liverpool of Guyana; Suzanne Morisset of Canada and Shirley Perrello and Mady Santos of Honduras. Prior to her departure, Martindale, a former Barbados basketballer, carried the whistle in the second match of this year’s LIME Pelican Challenge between Bajan Pride and Bajan Elite at Kensington Oval on September 9. Martindale, also a FIBA-accredited basketball referee, previously oversaw the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s semi-final between Canada and Mexico after carrying the whistle in the Mexico-Bahamas Group B game during the Confederation Championship in Guatemala. She has also officiated in the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship in Panama. “We are proud of her achievements and we hope that this would encourage other women to become interested in refereeing,” said Mark “Bob” Forde, president of the Barbados Football Referees Association. “We are badly in need of female officials and we are urging students at the Barbados Community College, University of the West Indies and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic or any member of the Police or Defence Force to come out and be trained,” added Forde, who was one of the world’s longest serving FIFA referees.