Culture

Stéphanie Frappart Will Be the First Female Referee at a Men's World Cup Game

Leading an all-female officiating team for the upcoming Costa Rica v. Germany match.

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Stéphanie Frappart Will Be the First Female Referee at a Men's World Cup Game

Leading an all-female officiating team for the upcoming Costa Rica v. Germany match.

Stéphanie Frappart is making history this year at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar as the first-ever female referee at a men’s World Cup game.

Hailing from France, the 38-year-old is set to lead an all-female officiating team for the Costa Rica v. Germany match in Group E, which is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. EST on December 1. She will be joined by assistant referees Neuza Back from Brazil and Karen Díaz Medina from Mexico.

Frappart is one of six female referees who have been officiating at this year’s World Cup, with additional names including Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda, Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan and Kathryn Nesbitt from the U.S. Prior to the ongoing tournament, Frappart previously refereed a men’s World Cup qualifier back in March as well as a men’s Champions League match in 2020 and the UEFA Super Cup final in 2019.

“It’s a surprise, you cannot believe it and after two or three minutes, you realize that you are going to the World Cup. It’s amazing, not only for me, but also for my family and also for the French referees,” the referee told CNN Sport after the announcement. She also spoke of the pressure that comes with being a referee: “When you make a mistake, it’s more important than if a player makes a mistake – there are more consequences for the teams. It’s also easy to say that it’s the fault of the referee and not the fault of our team so when you lose… It’s more from the media and [about] the money because you know that every decision is important and will make a difference for the team.” She additionally noted the extra weight that comes with being a female referee. “There were many questions involved if she’s there because she’s a woman, perhaps she will not follow the game and everything… It’s not only in football, but I think in every job when you’re a woman … you need to prove that you have the quality and after that they let you continue.”

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