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First Female Referee in Croatian First Division

Sanja Rođak Karšić (photo/hns)

Sanja Rođak Karšić (photo/hns)


A couple of years ago former model and Croatia international Tihana Nemčić hit the headlines around the world when she become the first ever female coach of a men’s football club in Croatia. This weekend Sanja Rođak Karšić will follow suit and go into the history books as the first female to ref a Croatian first division match…

Karšić will have the whistle in this Saturday’s match between Lokomotiva and Osijek. Yesterday Karšić ran the line in the Croatian Cup match between HAŠK and Osijek.

Sanja will become the first female ref in the Croatian first division on Saturday

Sanja will become the first female ref in the Croatian first division on Saturday

Karšić is no stranger to officiating. She was one of the officials at this year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada, where she was lineswomen for three matches (Canada – China, Nigeria – USA and Australia – Japan).

“At the start it was pure curiosity, which then turned into love and a job.” Sanja explains.

(photo/drago sopta hns)

(photo/drago sopta hns)

“it was hard at the start, demanding and difficult, more mentally than physically. In general women are not accepted easily on the football field, but I looked at my female colleagues who have fought for a number of years in this environment so it was right that I continued. Advice, cooperation and communication helped me the most,” she said.


First female coach of men's club in Croatia - Tihana Nemčić

First female coach of men’s club in Croatia – Tihana Nemčić


Karšić has also reffed matches in the Croatian 2nd division and in the youth league.

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