Gothia Cup

From centre back to referee

Rebecca grew up playing football but soon found herself more drawn to bossing people around with a whistle in her hand than in the defence on the pitch.

Rebecca Johansson has been refereeing since she was 13 years old and at 20, she’s still enjoying it. She appreciates the community around it, running into other referees at tournaments and being able to ask for help.

Rebecca Johansson has played football for years, mainly as a centre back for her local team Kungsängen IF in Stockholm. In her early teens she got the opportunity to start taking on refereeing jobs alongside her playing. It was an opportunity she started off appreciating for the financial incentive, but it turned into more than that.
– Now I just do it because it’s fun, I just want to keep going with football, says Rebecca Johansson.

What’s the best thing about refereeing?
– You get to see so many things and different situation. It’s fun to be the one enforcing the rules on the pitch - if they do something out of line you get to give them a card if necessary, Rebecca says.
One of her favourite experiences as a referee so far was when she got the opportunity to work at a B final for G18.
– The level of the players was so high. I don’t usually referee at that high level, so that was fun, she says.

Rebecca described how being part of the community of referees is her favourite aspect about working as a referee.
– The referees run into each other at different tournaments. It’s great to say hi, talk about refereeing, discussing different situations and ask for advice. What would another referee have done in that situation? In Stockholm there’s also a Facebook group for referees, says Rebecca.

She does not plan on refereeing forever, but seeing her colleagues at work has sparked a thought of continuing with her qualifications.
– I have been inspired by the referees here, so maybe that’s something I will start with soon, she says.
It was her first time refereeing at Gothia Cup and she enjoyed the tournament.
– I refereed three or four games in one day, they were all on the same pitch but it is a big sports field. It is really fun to be in the same place, rather than going everywhere, she says.