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PHOTOS: Brazil's hottest female referee is internet sensation

May 14, 2014 07:58 IST

PHOTOS: Brazil's hottest female referee is internet sensation

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Fernanda Colombo Uliana, a 25-year-old assistant referee, is fast becoming an internet sensation. It is not just because of her model-like looks, but also her flag-waving work.

The Brazilian beauty shot to fame after officiating a Copa do Brasil match featuring top-flight club Sao Paulo, and later her first Brazil Serie A game between Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro in Belo Horizonte.

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Image: Brazil's referee assistant Fernanda Colombo Uliana officiates in the Brazilian championship soccer match between Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro in Belo Horizonte.
Photographs: Washington Alves/Reuters

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Uliana has been officiating in her native Brazil for quite some time.

She was granted FIFA official status by the refereeing committee of the Brazilian Football Confederation and did sideline duties during the Brazilian championship football match last weekend.

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Image: Brazil's referee assistant Fernanda Colombo Uliana during the Brazilian championship soccer match
Photographs: Washington Alves/Reuters

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Uliana's debut as an assistant referee in Brazil's top flight ended in controversy on Sunday after she denied visitors Cruzeiro a last-gasp chance to equalise against derby rivals Atletico Mineiro with a debateable off-side call.

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Image: Fernanda Colombo Uliana follows the ball during the Brazilian championship soccer match.
Photographs: Washington Alves/Reuters

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Cruzeiro were 2-1 down with just minutes left when Allison was put through on goal, but Uliana raised her flag for off-side, a decision that replays appeared to suggest was incorrect.

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Image: Brazil's referee assistant Fernanda Colombo Uliana signals a throw-in next to Atletico Mineiro's Fernandinho.
Photographs: Washington Alves/Reuters

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Uliana, who had previously officiated in Brazil Cup matches but was making her Serie A debut on Sunday, was cheered off the pitch by home fans but subjected to the ire of Cruzeiro players and director of football Alexandre Mattos.

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Image: Brazil's referee assistant Fernanda Colombo Uliana and an Atletico Mineiro player.
Photographs: Washington Alves/Reuters

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Uliana is part of a growing group of women making their mark in the male-dominated world of football.

In March this year, Maria Rebello made Indian football history, becoming the first woman referee to officiate in the I-League match between  Pune FC Shillong Lajong.

The Goa-based referee, who was also captain of India women's national team, had previously officiated in the country's premier football tournament as an assistant referee. 

Earlier this month, Portugese manager Helena Costa became the first female boss of a club in one of Europe's top two leagues when appointed at the helm of Clermont Foot in France.


Image: Brazil's referee assistant Fernanda Colombo Uliana warms up before the Brazilian championship soccer match.
Photographs: Washington Alves/Reuters

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