All-female referee team at World Cup for first time

An all-female refereeing team will take charge of a men’s World Cup game for the first time in Thursday’s group-stage game between Costa Rica and Germany.

Stephanie Frappart will be the first woman to referee at a men’s World Cup.  The Frenchwoman became the first female official at the tournament when she was named as the fourth official for Mexico and Poland’s game last Tuesday.

“We know the pressure,” Frappart told BBC Sport before the tournament.  “But I think we will not change ourselves. Be calm, focused, concentrate, and don’t think too much about the media and everything, just be focused on the field.”

Frappart will be joined by Brazil’s Neuza Back and Mexican Karen Diaz Medina at Al Bayt Stadium on Thursday.

Asked if she ever has comments from players, managers or fans due to being a woman, Frappart said: “Since I started I was always supported by teams, clubs and players.I was always welcome in the stadium so I feel like another referee inside the pitch. I was always welcome, so I think I will be welcome as before.”

She became the first woman to referee a men’s Champions League game in 2020.  The 38-year-old was also the first woman to take charge of a match in a major men’s Uefa competition when Liverpool and Chelsea met in the 2019 European Super Cup.

Three women – Frappart, Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita – are among the 36 officials selected to take charge of games in Qatar.

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