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History: This All-female Referee Group Will Officiate A World Cup Match For The First Time

  • For the first time in World Cup history, an all-female refereeing trio will officiate a football match
  • Frenchwoman Stéphanie Frappart will lead the trio with assistant referees Neuza Back and Karen Diaz
  • They will take charge of the Group E clash against Germany and Costa Rica on Thursday

An all-female trio will officiate a football match at the FIFA World Cup for the first time in the tournament’s history.

The group will be led by the head referee, Frenchwoman Stéphanie Frappart, who will be the first woman to ever take charge of a match in the largest sporting tournament in the world.

Frappart will be joined by assistant referees Neuza Back of Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Diaz for the match, FIFA announced on Wednesday.

The trio will officiate the crucial Group E clash against Germany and Costa Rica on Thursday evening (Friday at 6am AEDT). Germany, who are bottom of the group with one point, need a win to be any chance of reaching the round of 16. A win for Costa Rica will ensure they progress.

Before the World Cup kick-off, FIFA’s referees boss Pierluigi Collina made it clear to the officials that they were chosen for their skills.

“You are here not because you are women, you are here because you are FIFA match officials,” he said earlier this month.

Collina said referees were chosen to officiate matches based on their performance levels during training sessions and should be prepared to cover any match.

Frappart was also the first woman in charge of a Champions League match, making her debut in Europe’s premier club competition in 2020, and has also officiated French Ligue 1 games since 2019.

Frappart was nominated for the Euro 2020 tournament but wasn’t selected to officiate a match.

Two other female referees have been included in the World Cup line-up: Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita.

“We are here because we deserve to be here. Back at our confederation, or back at home, it is another level, so this is the biggest level of football,” Mukansanga told reporters in Doha ahead of the World Cup start.

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