‘Ladies Only Night’ at Telstar: female arbitral quartet scoop in the Netherlands

A first in Dutch football awaits at Telstar Women next Friday. For the first time in professional football, all four officials are women. In addition, the entire round in the Eredivisie for women is led by female referees.

The match between Telstar Women and PSV is described by the KNVB as ‘Ladies Only Night’. Lizzy van der Helm will be in charge of the duel with Isabelle van Gilst and Eline Leenstra as assistants. Manon Plandsoen is the fourth official on duty. This makes it the first game in the Netherlands ever in which all four officials are women.


“The initiative to put the female referees in the spotlight in this way is in line with the KNVB’s mission to double the female representation within the refereeing corps in the coming years,” the KNVB said in a press release. The association notes that currently two percent of football matches are refereed by women, while just over ten percent of all football players in the Netherlands are women.

The football association sees that women’s football is on the rise. According to the KNVB, the growth in membership is mainly due to the youngest youth and women’s football. However, the development of female referees is still lagging behind. “The KNVB therefore wants to encourage amateur clubs in the coming years to think more often about mothers, sisters or other female acquaintances of football players at the association for the role of game supervisor or referee. Clubs can also expect extra support from the association in this recruitment.”