Congratulations to Charlotte and Richard on behalf of the Swansea Referees Society
The New Year has seen the introduction of two new International Referees on the FIFA panel for 2015 from Wales and Charlotte Carpenter from Mountain Ash, becomes the Principality's first ever female International referee.
FAW Head of Competitions Andrew Howard commented; "It has been a strategic objective of the FAW to get representation on this side of the game and the hard work has now come to fruition with Charlotte’s addition to the list.
"This has come about through her performances refereeing in the Welsh Premier Women’s League, which is the avenue for Women Referees to attain international recognition in the female game."
The other addition is Welsh Premier League referee Richard Harrington from Penallta, who has joined the Men’s International List for the first time replacing Swansea’s Mark Whitby who has taken early retirement from the International panel after over a decade of service.
Harrington took charge of the six-goal thriller between Newtown and Port Talbot on New Year's Day and proudly wore his new FIFA badge for the first time
Both Charlotte and Richard will travel to Athens in early February for the UEFA Introductory Course for new International Referees, where they will mix with the elite of European refereeing.
National Referees’ Manager Rodger Gifford was delighted with the news which was received a few days before Christmas and added;
“We received confirmation of their inclusion for 2015 on the 23rd of December and it was one of the more pleasant telephone calls to make which was an early Christmas present for them both.
"Both have a very bright future in the game and Charlotte’s appointment is a milestone in the Welsh Women’s game as the first ever FIFA Woman Referee from the Principality, which we hope will act as an incentive for other young females to take up the whistle and follow in Charlotte’s footsteps.
Gifford was also quick to praise the retiring Whitby and added; "Whilst Richard embarks on his International career. we mustn’t forget whom he is replacing in Swansea's Mark Whitby. Mark decided to take early retirement from the International Panel, giving us sufficient notice to consider his replacement and he will also finish his Welsh Premier career at the end of the current season.
"He has been an outstanding ambassador for Welsh Refereeing both at home and abroad for a very long time and will be missed. However, to his credit he hopes to stay involved and lend his vast experience to helping develop young referees coming through the system."