Aspinall’s World Cup semi

Natalie Aspinall will ensure England a presence in the Women’s U20 World Cup semi-finals after being named assistant referee for Wednesday’s clash between North Korea and Nigeria.

The Lancashire FA official, who turns 33 on Sunday, will run the line in Moncton in recognition of her performances in the finals in Canada this month.

Aspinall, nee Walker, became a FIFA list assistant referee in 2007 and officiated at the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

In 2012 she took charge of The FA Women’s Cup Final between Birmingham City and Chelsea at Ashton Gate, and earlier this year celebrated the birth of her first child.

Lancashire FA official Natalie Walker

Natalie Aspinall has an impressive CV at domestic and international level

Chairman of The FA’s Referees Committee David Elleray was eager to praise Aspinall’s achievements. He said: “Natalie’s appointment is a testament to her hard work and the dedication she has shown both domestically and particularly in international football. 

“She is an excellent role model for women officials and I am sure that this prestigious appointment will further enhance her status.” 

Elleray added: “Following the success of our men and futsal referees, Natalie’s appointment to the FIFA U20 World Cup semi-final demonstrates that English international refereeing is very strong in all areas. 

“The FA Referees’ Committee and all of English refereeing wish her a successful and enjoyable match.”

England Women’s U20s bowed out in the group stages, losing to semi-finalists Nigeria, while Wednesday’s other semi-final will be contested by Germany and France.