Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita became the first woman to referee an Asian Champions League game when Australia’s Melbourne City played South Korean side Jeonnam Dragons in the group stages.
Yamashita managed the tie in Asia’s premier men’s club tournament with the help of assistant referees Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi. All three are women referee from Japan.
“Their selection reinforces the (Asian Football Confederation’s) commitment to strengthen and develop the women’s game at all levels,” stated the governing body.
Melbourne trounce Jeonnam 2-1 in Thailand with first-half strikes from Carl Jenkinson and Andrew Nabbout.
In 2019, Yamashita, Bozono and Teshirogi became the first all-female squad to officiate a game in the AFC Cup, Asia’s second-tier club tourney.
The AFC plans to inaugurate a women’s edition of the Champions League next year in an effort to augment the women’s game in the region.