World Cup

Three women to referee men’s World Cup match for first time

FIFA

Three female referees are set to officiate a men’s World Cup match for the first time ever, FIFA announced on Tuesday.

FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, said in a statement that Stephanie Frappart will be the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup match, leading officiating duties during Germany’s final group stage match against Costa Rica. 

Frappart, a French native, will be joined by assistant referees Neuza Back and Karen Diaz. Together they will become the first trio of all-female referees to oversee a FIFA World Cup men’s match. 

Frappart, who has also been the lead referee in France’s Ligue 1, Europa League and World Cup qualifying matches, said that she is well-equipped to referee a men’s World Cup match. 

“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,” the 38-year-old referee said in a statement. 

FIFA Referees Committee chairman Pierluigi Collina said in a statement prior to the World Cup that the three women “were not selected because they are women, but as FIFA referees.”

“They could officiate any game,” Collina said at the time.

FIFA follows other prominent sporting leagues such as the NFL, NBA and MLB who have hired women to be full-time game officials. 

The 2022 World Cup has been marred by controversies since the initial selection of Qatar as host in 2010. More recently, criticism was stoked when FIFA threatened to impose sanctions on Germany and six other European nations if their players wore rainbow-printed armbands in support of LGBTQ rights, a decision that aligned with federation rules that state participating players are required to wear only what is authorized as part of their teams’ uniform. Players who break these rules will receive yellow cards from officials.

Qatar, whose men’s national team was eliminated from the tournament, has faced criticism over its human rights record and condemnation for outlawing homosexuality.

Germany’s final Group E match against Costa Rica is set to take place on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Tags 2022 World Cup Costa Rica FIFA FIFA World Cup Germany Qatar World Cup

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