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First female referee in men’s Super League!

Roman Popikov, Kristina Prokofyeva, Sergej Gorbachov and Jury Gabov. Photo: Presservice FHMR

Last Sunday, January 13, the World of Bandy experienced a unique event. For the first time in the history of bandy, a game in the highest male series had a female referee. It was in the Russian Super League that Kristina Prokofyeva was one of the two assistant referees in the game between Dynamo Moscow and Murman. Dynamo won the game with 5-2 but Kristina’s debut was the big event.

So what was the big difference to your previous games?

– A huge difference, especially in terms of speed and game dynamics, said Kristina afterwards to the Russian Bandy Federations website. As assistant referee, you must mainly keep the offside line, so I had that in focus, says Kristina.

Roman Popikov, in charge of the referees in Russian Bandy Federation, was pleased with her debut in the Super League:

– This is already her third full season as a referee. She previously worked at the World Championships and the World Cup among women’s teams, having shown herself from the best side. In Russia, it is already the second season serving matches among the teams of men’s Higher League. And the appointment to the Super League is a kind of advance for her, a chance to prove herself at the highest level. She made no mistakes and we are very happy with her debut. I am glad that I had to attend this historic moment.

What is the biggest difficulty for a girl in men’s bandy?

– First of all, it’s speed. Speed ​​in the Russian Championship matches among the teams of the Super League is an order of magnitude higher than in the other leagues in Russia. But Kristina confirmed that she is very good.

Will she get more chances in the Super League?

– I think so. Kristina Prokofyeva will definitely get new chances in the Super League this current season. And we will track feedback on her work, and, I hope, she will hold the next matches as confidently as the first one, ends Roman Popikov.

The closest assignments for Kristina Prokofyeva will be as assistant referee in the B-group during the World Championships in Vänersborg and as the head referee for women’s games in 2019 Universiade in Krasnoyarsk.