THE FOOTBALL match between AS Trenčín and FK Dac Dunajská Streda in the 6th round of Slovakia’s top-flight Corgoň League on August 20 will be remembered for two historic moments. The first was when AS Trenčín recorded its first win, after the team, which is coached by Adrián Guľa, scored a goal in the 85th minute; it had only recorded draws in its previous matches. The more notable historic moment was the debut of Mária Súkeníková as the first woman referee supervising a match in the Corgoň League.
Súkeníková, from Martin, served as an assistant to the main referee at the match and has been serving as a referee at lower-level football matches in Slovakia since 2002. She is the daughter of a long-time football organiser and the wife of a former player for the Žilina football club and had been named to FIFA’s list of referees in 2005.
Three years later she was a referee at the Under-19 European Championship for Women in France. Súkeníková also refereed at the Under-17 World Championship for Women in New Zealand and in Trinidad and Tobago.
“My schoolmates were shocked to see me on TV as a football referee,” Súkeníková told the SITA newswire. She said their main surprise was her level of physical fitness, as she had been excused from participating in physical education at school due to a heart murmur as a child.
“Over the course of time, my status improved and currently I can run and train without any difficulties,” she told the Šport daily. “My feelings after the premiere are good. I hope all my decisions, as well as those by my colleagues, were right. I am happy to be the first woman to referee in the Corgoň League,” Súkeníková stated. Her whole family attended the match in Trenčín to support her.
26. Sep 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská