Canberra refs set to fulfil Olympic dreams Print E-mail
Written by Canberra Times   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 00:00

Canberra soccer referees Ben Williams and Allyson Flynn will officiate at the London Olympic Games.

Jogging around Lake Burley Griffin one day to running out on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford the next. That's the scenario facing Ben Williams and Allyson Flynn, as the Canberra referees count down the days until they live their dream and officiate at the London Olympic Games.

Williams has been chosen as a central referee in the men's tournament while Flynn will be an assistant for the women's competition.

The pair have been regularly training together since 2006 but this will be the first time they have officiated at the same event.

"That's a particular highlight for me given we train together week in, week out," Flynn said.

"To have a colleague there to bounce ideas off when it's going well, but also when it's not going well, will be great."

This will be Williams' first major FIFA tournament while Flynn was involved in last year's women's World Cup.

Williams has controlled matches in the A-League since its inception in 2005, as well as Asian Champions League fixtures and Olympic and World Cup qualifiers.

It was during a recent ACL match in Dubai that he found out he had been placed on the short-list for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. "We got the text at 4.30 in the morning. There was a lot of jumping around because it takes a lot of hard work to get yourself in that position," Williams said.

"Over the next two years, FIFA will view referees on that shortlist at various tournaments.

"The Olympics is considered one of the six FIFA tournaments, with the ultimate one being the World Cup. The Olympics don't come around all that often, it's a once in a lifetime shot," he said.

Williams will be joined by fellow Australians Matthew Cream and Hakan Anaz, while Lisa Ho will work alongside Flynn in an assistant's role.

The men's and women's football tournaments have been scheduled at some of Britain's most iconic venues, including Old Trafford, Hampden Park in Scotland, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and Wembley, which will host the men's final on August 11.

Williams and Flynn won't know until a week before competition begins what group they'll be assigned to, with officials for the knock-out stages to be assigned based on performance.

"If I was around on the 11th, that'd be fantastic," Williams said.

Australia hasn't qualified for either the men's or women's competitions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:47