MIAMI (Thursday, December 11th, 2014) -- The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today the appointment of Sonia Denoncourt as Director of Refereeing. In her role, Denoncourt will lead all aspects of refereeing within the Confederation, which also involves directing the functions of the Heads of Refereeing in the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) and the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).
“Ms. Denoncourt not only brings a vast global knowledge of the refereeing arena, but also a solid vision to gear, advance and professionalize the region,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “Refereeing has an extremely important role within the game. We are confident that her guidance will reinforce education and training, overcoming the intrinsic challenges of this fundamental position.”
Evaluating and elevating the region’s referees performance is an important objective on the CONCACAF agenda. Denoncourt will be key in the implementation of a performance-based plan that supports referee development at multiple levels by providing them with exceptional training, identifying opportunities for growth and, ultimately, promoting them to FIFA status.
Denoncourt’s extensive experience includes serving as FIFA’s Head of Women’s Referee Development and Refereeing Senior Manager. Prior to joining FIFA in 2005, she was the Director of Referee Development for the Canadian Soccer Association (2001-05). In 1994, Denoncourt made history by becoming the first female referee to obtain a FIFA international badge. She later became the first woman to referee men's first division matches in El Salvador and Brazil.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be in this position to help raise the level of professionalism in the region,” said Denoncourt. “There is a lot of potential in CONCACAF, and we need to provide more support to all 41 Member Associations in order to build a stronger structure leading to improved performance on the field.”
Throughout her career, Denoncourt has received numerous accolades, among them the Quebec Soccer Federation's Referee of the Year award on five separate occasions: 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000. In 2005, she was inducted into the Quebec soccer Hall of Fame as well as the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame. Also recently named as Honorary and life member of the Canadian Soccer Association.
Denoncourt has been part of many football committees including the FIFA task Force and recently was nominated as a member of the IFAB (The International Football Association Board) Technical Advisory Panel. Another first, being the first women to be included after 130 years of existence.