Referee Said Martinez: “I would not be where I am without Concacaf’s support”
Referee Said Martinez (at the center) during the FIFA Under 20 World Cup on May 27, 2019, in a Match for Group D, between Qatar and Ukraine at Tychy Stadium, Tychy, Poland.

DALLAS, Texas At age 27, Said Martinez of Honduras has already accomplished a lot as a referee.

This year, he has already officiated at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and will also referee in his first ever Concacaf Gold Cup.

As part of his preparation for the Gold Cup, Martinez attended the Gold Cup referee seminar in Dallas, Texas and spoke exclusively with about his experience in Poland at the Under-20 World Cup and his expectations for this summer’s Gold Cup.

“I am very happy. It was something very special to be at the Under-20 World Cup. It shows that Concacaf is working in stride with FIFA and I think we had very good performances in the matches we did, especially in such an important tournament,” said Martinez.

On the heels of the Under-20 World Cup, Martinez is embracing the opportunity to officiate in the Gold Cup.

“There has been a lot of preparation for this tournament and I feel like I have learned a lot and I am prepared. This is a great opportunity to do things well. Nothing has been given to me, there have been hours of work and sacrifice and I plan to represent my country, my family and my friends to the best of my ability,” said Martinez.

Martinez also took a moment to express his sincere thanks to Concacaf for all of the support and backing he has received from the Confederation.

“Without the help of Concacaf Director of Refereeing Brian Hall and everyone at Concacaf, I would not be where I am. Because of their support, I began to work harder and began to dream that things like working in a World Cup and Gold Cup would be possible,” said Martinez.

In Dallas, Martinez also had the thrill of a lifetime when he was able to interact with FIFA Referee Committee Chairman Pierluigi Collina. The Italian is one of the most decorated referees in football history, and Martinez was eager to learn as much as possible from Collina.

“We know what Collina represents to refereeing and to football. He motivates us to reach new heights. He motivates us to do a good job and he motivates us to improve and grow as a referee,” concluded Martinez.