Liga MX name García as first woman referee in 20 years

Katia Itzel García is set to become the first woman in two decades to center referee a Liga MX match, the Mexico federation’s referee’s commission said on Thursday.

The 31-year-old, who officiated Wednesday’s Concacaf W Gold Cup semifinal win for the U.S. women’s national team over Canada, will travel back to Mexico to officiate Pachuca vs. Querétaro at the Estadio Hidalgo this Saturday.

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The match will mark just the second time that Liga MX has had a female center referee. The last woman to officiate in a Liga MX match was Virginia Tovar in 2004.

Following the Week 11 game from Mexico’s top flight, García will then head back to the U.S. to officiate Sunday’s W Gold Cup final between the USWNT and Brazil at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium.

Born in Mexico City and refereeing at the professional level since 2016, García has had experience in competitions such as the 2023 Women’s World Cup, She Believes Cup, Liga MX Femenil and Liga de Expansión.

Earlier in Wednesday’s W Gold Cup semifinal, Garcia dealt with a rain-soaked pitch that was deemed as “unplayable” by Canada coach Bev Priestman. Despite the conditions, a match commissioner appeared to indicate to García to continue the waterlogged game.

Pachuca, currently third in the standings on goal differential, will have a chance to take first in the Liga MX table when they face 10th-placed Querétaro.