FIFA World Cup: All-woman referee team set to make history in Qatar

FIFA made the historic appointments for the 44th of the 64 games being played in Qatar. Stephanie Frappart previously was picked for fourth official duties.

Stephanie Frappart FIFA World Cup 2022
Stephanie Frappart (left), Neuza Back (Brazil) (top right) and Karen Diaz Medina (Mexico) will make history as all-woman refereeing trio in a men's FIFA World Cup 2022 game in Qatar. Photo: Twitter/FIFA

History will be made this Friday (December 2) in Qatar as an all-woman refereeing team will be in charge of a men’s FIFA World Cup game.

The governing body FIFA announced that France’s Stephanie Frappart will handle the Germany versus Costa Rica Group E game at the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Thursday (India time 12:30 am IST, Friday).

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Frappart will become the first woman to referee in a men’s World Cup game. FIFA also picked two women as assistants to Frappart.

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Brazil’s Neuza Back and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico complete the all-female refereeing team on the field. A fourth woman match official FIFA picked for this World Cup, Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States, will also be working at the Al Bayt Stadium as the offside specialist in the video review team.

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On its Twitter handle, FIFA wrote, “This Thursday, an all-female refereeing trio will take charge of a men’s @FIFAWorldCup match for the first time. Stéphanie Frappart will be joined by assistants Neuza Back and Karen Diaz in overseeing @fedefutbolcrc against @DFB_Team. History in the making!”

Two other women, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan, are also on the FIFA list to referee games in Qatar.

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FIFA made the historic appointments for the 44th of the 64 games being played in Qatar. Frappart previously was picked for fourth official duties.

The 38-year-old Frenchwoman has been promoted in the men’s game by European football body UEFA and in her home country. She has refereed men’s games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League, and this year’s men’s French Cup final.

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She also took charge of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final for FIFA.

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