FIFA have announced that leading Australian futsal referee Chris Colley has been selected for the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016 being held in Colombia in September.
Colley is one of 38 referees from around the world who will control matches at the 8th edition of futsal’s showpiece event.
For Colley this appointment follows his strong performances at the AFC Futsal Championships in February where he was appointed to the Semi Final between host national Uzbekistan and tournament heavyweight Thailand.
Speaking after his selection, Colley was understandably thrilled to have been selected for the tournament.
“It’s such a unique experience being selected for the Futsal World Cup; it’s the pinnacle tournament for every referee," said Colley.
"I am planning on enjoying the experience of being in South America doing something that I really enjoy and performing at my peak for as long as possible.
"I’m excited for the challenge and very proud of my achievement.”
Having started refereeing in 1990, Colley knows too well the commitment and sacrifices required to reach the elite level and reflected on the busy schedule leading up to the announcement.
“Every referee makes sacrifices to officiate at the elite level. It’s difficult to find the right balance between family, work, and refereeing," said Colley.
“In the past 16 months I have been away from home 108 nights due to national and international refereeing commitments.
"I’m very lucky to have such a supportive wife and family, as well as an understanding employer to make this possible.
"Elite refereeing can be a selfish pursuit, but having people around you committed to your goal makes life a little easier.”
Colley’s appointment follows an impressive recent history for Australian futsal referees with compatriot Scott Kidson having the honour of refereeing at the 2008 and 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cups.