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Stéphanie Frappart will become the first woman in history to referee a men’s World Cup match

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Stéphanie Frappart will become the first woman in history to referee a men’s World Cup match

French referee Stéphanie Frappart will become the first woman ever to preside over a men's World Cup match.

While that would be enough to celebrate as a significant milestone, that's not all.

FIFA also announced Frappart's two assistant referees for the crucial game between Germany and Costa Rica would also be women.

Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico will join Frappart on the pitch.


The trio of women will therefore have the final say over what promises to be a nail-biter of a game.

Frappart revealed that she was thrilled to hear the news of her impending history-making moment.

"I am really moved because I didn’t necessarily expect this. It doesn’t get bigger than the World Cup," Frappart said, as per News24.

"It is no longer about what gender you are. It is about your ability."

Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

While the French arbiter will make history when she walks out onto the pitch, two other women will follow in her footsteps soon after.

Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Japan's Yoshimi Yamashita are the two other female referees who will also make calls at the Qatar tournament.

Yamashita, who is two years younger than Frappart, has had a similar groundbreaking rise to referee glory at men's games in Japan.


In 2019, she became the first woman to make calls on an Asian Champions League match.

"I am going to do everything I can to make sure that what is emphasised is the beauty of the football. I am not interested in power or control," Yamashita said during a recent interview with FIFA.com.

FIFA referee chief Pierluigi Collina praised the female umpires in the lead-up to the World Cup.

"They are not here because they are women but as FIFA referees. They are ready for every game," he said, as per SBS.


Qatar has stringent rules and laws on what women can and cannot do in the Middle Eastern nation, adding extra significance to Frappart's appointment.

"FIFA and the governing bodies are putting out a strong message by having women referees in these countries," Frappart said.

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

"I am not a feminist spokesperson but maybe this can help move things forward."


Frappart has a wealth of experience already with men's games, earning her spot on the FIFA International Referees List way back in 2009.

She was nominated to adjudicate over games in the Euro 2020 tournament but didn't get a match at any of the games held across the continent.

Frappart, 38, has been in charge of games in the French circuit, Ligue 1, since 2019.

That was a big year for the woman from Herblay-sur-Seine, as she also officiated the European Super Cup and the women’s World Cup final.

She also made history as the first female in charge of a Champions League match in 2020.

Featured Image Credit: Nicolò Campo / Alamy Stock Photo. PHC Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Sport, World Cup, Football

Rachel Lang
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