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Alibert will not be whistling at Vikings games in 2014
12:37pm Monday 9th December 2013 in Sport
THIERRY Alibert will not be officiating at any Widnes Vikings matches next season.
He has been appointed as head of match officials with the French Rugby League Federation.
The 42-year-old Frenchman has stepped down from his role as a Super League referee and will return to France to join FFR XIII with immediate effect.
Alibert is France’s most experienced and successful referee and has just played a full and active role in Rugby League World Cup 2013, his third World Cup as a senior referee, having officiated in the 2000 and 2008 tournaments.
RFL Director of Standards and Licensing Blake Solly said: “Thierry has decided to take up an exciting opportunity in France and on behalf of the RFL I would like to wish him well in the post.
“Thierry has been a valued member of our full-time team since joining in 2009, with the highlight being his selection to referee the 2011 World Club Challenge.
“Thierry’s commitment to refereeing was absolute, and I would like to thank him for his contribution to the RFL and Super League in his time with us.”
Alibert’s first Super League fixture as a referee was Salford v St Helens in June 2008. As well as World Cup duty, he refereed the 2011 World Club Challenge, Wigan Warriors v St George-Illawarra Dragons.
Alibert said: “I would to thank everybody at the RFL who has supported me during the last five years.
“After the World Cup in 2008, the day when my mobile phone rang and Stuart Cummings asked me to come and referee in Super League was a great day in my career. “I will never forget the opportunities I have had, or the great people I have met.
“In the last few months it has been a little hard for me, so when the opportunity with the FFR13 came I didn’t hesitate.
“It will be good to be back close to my family, friends, sunshine and the beach. My aim will be to find a new referee to replace me in Super League.”
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