Frappart Makes History as First Woman to Referee at Men’s World Cup
French match official, Stephanie Frappart, will make history today when she becomes the first woman to referee at the men’s World Cup here in Qatar. Frappart was picked by FIFA’s Referees Committee headed by famous retired Italian referee, Pierluigi Collina to lead an all women cast as Costa Rica face Germany at the Al Bayt Stadium.
However, it will not be the first time the 38-year-old French referee has written her name into football history.
Frappart reached a milestone after being selected as the first female to officiate at a men’s World Cup qualifier in March and Champions League match in 2020. She is also the first woman to referee a French Ligue 1game.
“The men’s World Cup is the most important sporting competition in the world. I was the first referee in France and in Europe, so I know how to deal with it,” observed the French referee when it was announced Tuesday night that she will be at the centre.
She was the fourth official for the Poland versus Mexico Group C clash at Qatar 2022 last week.
Asked if she ever has comments from players, managers or fans due to being a woman, Frappart said: “Since I started I was always supported by teams, clubs and players. I was always welcome in the stadium so I feel like another referee inside the pitch. I was always welcome, so I think I will be welcome as before.”
Frappart is to be assisted in the match by Brazilian Neuza Back and Mexican Karen Diaz will become the first all-female refereeing team for a men’s World Cup match.
According to the Referees Committee chief: “They were not selected because they are women, but as FIFA referees. They could officiate any game.”
The other two women referees here at Qatar 2022 are Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yamashita Yoshimi of Japan.