French football referee Stephanie Frappart created history on 14th August when she became the first woman to officiate in a major men’s European match.
She was the lead official in the Liverpool vs. Chelsea UEFA Super Cup match in Istanbul, Turkey that Liverpool eventually won. Also, she led this first all-female in-field officiating team in a UEFA men’s match that included assistant referees Manuela Nicolosi of France and Michelle O’Neill of Ireland.
#FIFAWWC Final referee Stephanie Frappart is ready to make history tomorrow, where she will be the first female lead official in a major men’s European game.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of difference, because football is the same. We are not afraid about this game.”#SuperCup pic.twitter.com/dgRntrrMJA
— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) August 13, 2019
“Of course, my life has changed because I’m more popular around the world now,” said Frappart before the fixture. “I’ve already been appointed to Ligue 1 in France so I know the feeling and how to deal with my emotions. It is not the first appointment to a big game for me so I know the meaning behind it.”
Frappart has been on the FIFA international list of referees from 2009 and is known across the world for her fantastic skills.
However, Frappart is not new to creating history. In 2014, she was the first woman ever to referee a match in Ligue 2, which is France’s second tier of professional football. She gradually rose through the ranks and in April 2019 became the first woman to referee a Ligue 1 match when she officiated a match between Strasbourg and Amiens.
The 35-year old also officiated the recently concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the USA and the Netherlands in July 2019. Nicolosi and O’Neill were part of this officiating team too.
Wishing that we see more gender diversity in sports in the times to come…
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