Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez is the first woman that will evaluate the performance of referees in the Spanish professional football. A former FIFA assistant referee, Marisa Villa had the privilege to participate in major tournaments, such as the Women’s World Cup or the Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing and London, among other tournaments. She rose to fame on 14 July 2007 by becoming the first woman assistant referee in the First Division. After she decided to retire in 2013, Marisa has continued to work for refereeing, both in the Spanish Football Federation and FIFA. Villa is currently the coordinator of the new female referee organization that has just been set up so that the women's soccer league will be refereed by women, as is the case in other major European women's leagues. Since 2014, she is an UEFA referee assessor and a FIFA referee instructor.
This season will give her one more role within the Spanish refereeing. Last week, Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez, known as Marisa Villa, attended the course for first and second division delegates/assessors that took place in Madrid. Marisa joins the people in charge to mark the referees, becoming thus the first woman included in this group, currently composed of 54 members. They are traveling every weekend to the first and second division matches to evaluate the performance of the referees in all 21 professional football matches. Not only that, as Article 174 of the General Regulation of the RFEF establishes, it is also the duties of the delegate to deal with the acts of racism, xenophobia and intolerance that occur in the stadiums; assist the referee and other parties in the decision to suspend provisional or definitive a match when there are public incidents or report on the conditions of the ground or sports facilities. Along with her were also newly retired referees Clos Gómez, Pérez Montero, López Amaya and Duro Gil, who will replace Jimenez Hidalgo, Lesma López and Buergo Fernandez. Delegates must send an extensive report on a template provided by the CTA, within 48 hours of the match. At the end of it, the mark of the referee is included. That same report, containing strengths and areas for improvement, is sent to the referee, excluding the mark. So, from now on, the first or second division players will see a woman near the dressing room of the match officials. It is Marisa Villa, the first female referee assessor of Spanish football.