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All-female referee team for the first time in the history of the men’s World Cup

origin 1Referee Stephanie Frappart shows a yellow card during a Women Euro 2022 match ©AP Photo

FIFA announced earlier this week that a men’s World Cup match will be refereed by an all-women team for the first time ever when Costa Rica take on Germany in Group E today (Thursday 1 December).

Stephanie Frappart, Neuza Back and Karen Diaz will take charge, with Frappart, the fourth official from last week’s Group C Poland-Mexico match, as the main referee.

Frappart, who became the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup qualifying match in March and a Champions League match in 2020, will now become the first woman to officiate a men’s World Cup match.

“I felt enormous emotion because it wasn’t particularly expected that I would be chosen,” said the 38-year-old French official. “So, I feel a lot of pride, a lot of honour, to represent France at the World Cup.”

“I think I will have everything around me in mind, and the goal will always be the same, which is to referee based on the performance on the pitch,” added Frappart.

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“We’ve all earned our position by being here”

origin 1Assistant referee Stephanie Frappart shows 7 minutes of overtime during the World Cup group C soccer match between Mexico and PolandMoises Castillo/AP Photo

Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez spoke about FIFA’s recent announcement at a press conference.

“I’m a deep admirer of everything women have achieved. And I love that they want to keep achieving more,” she told reporters.

“This is another step and I think it’s important. It shows how good women are, how dedicated they are and how they can do things – especially in a male chauvinist sport like this – how far they can go. I’m happy.”

In total, six female referees have been selected to call matches at the Qatar 2022 World Cup. They have all been passed the same fitness tests as their male counterparts and are held to the same performance standards.

“We’ve all earned our position by being here…we’re a team,” said American Kathryn Nesbitt, one of the six female referees selected.