From rugby to football, Munarini to Ferrieri Caputi, “eyes on you but have fun”

Clara Munarini, Italian rugby referee, international since 2017, she was the first Italian to direct a match of the men’s national top flight of the championship. These days the turning point has also come in football with Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi designated to direct, for the first time in the history of Italian football, a Serie A match, the one between Sassuolo and Salernitana scheduled for Sunday at 3 pm in Reggio Emilia.

“How did I experience my first appointment and what advice do I feel I can give to my colleague for the first race? I was excited, happy, aware of having eyes on me and therefore eager to do well, or at least to maintain my standard that I had brought this far. I simply tell my colleague to do what she has always done, and to have fun ...As it was suggested to me at the time “when a woman achieves this result she has probably been ready for years”, said Clara Munarini, 31, rugby match director with almost ten years of career behind her, at Adnkronos from Nuova Zealand where she is involved in the Women’s Rugby World Cup scheduled from 8 October to 12 November 2022.

“My debut in the men’s top league went well, I also got to enjoy the game and have fun! What would I not do again? I would probably isolate myself a little more the previous days, to feel less pressure”, explains the referee. of rugby which underlines how these beginnings among males in team sports such as rugby and football are a way to pave the way for the new generations. “Certainly yes … you have to start somewhere! Then it is not necessarily enough, the consolidation will be seen over the years and in any case it requires work by everyone”.

In the challenges between men the pressure is felt more than in the women’s competitions. “The pressure it is due to the importance of the match, the stakes, the popularity of the event, but above all is self-induced …we ourselves put pressure or create it, men or women on the pitch change little “, adds Clara Munarini who also talks about the relationship with the other referees of the match and with the Tmo, the VAR of football.” The relationship must exist, and there is respect and collaboration, everyone has a role to follow for the good result of the race “.

“Is there more respect for female or male referees in rugby than in football? I can’t talk about football because I don’t frequent the environment. As far as rugby is concerned, respect is equally distributed”, concludes the Italian referee.