On Thursday evening at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, the fans who attended the decisive match between Costa Rica and Germany witnessed a new chapter in football history being written on the football turf.
Kicking off the final and concluding match of Group E, French referee Stephanie Frappart entered the record books as the first woman to take charge of FIFA. Globalism Cup match.
Tournament organizers announced her appointment on Tuesday, meaning the 38-year-old match referee will take her place in the game’s history. Frappart took charge of two matches in the tournament qualifiers, but her presence in the World Cup itself is an important moment.
The Frenchwoman was the fourth official in the 0-0 tie between Mexico and Poland in Group C, becoming the first woman to occupy this role at the Men’s World Cup.
Frappart is no stranger to the game’s biggest stage, having officiated six matches in the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups – Canada 2015 and France 2019.
Frappart felt particularly proud to represent France as a FIFA World Cup referee.
“I felt a tremendous emotion because I wasn’t particularly expected to be selected. So, I (feel) a lot of pride and honor to represent France at the World Cup.”
Frappart said being a referee at the 2022 FIFA World Cup meant she would have to keep emotions in check to ensure optimal performance on the pitch.
“I think I will keep everything around me in mind, and the goal will remain the same, that is the judgment according to the performance on the pitch. So, I will go into this with tremendous emotion, but you have to channel that because obviously the important thing is the pitch.”
“The first thing will be all the feelings of going back to the World Cup stadium, which is full of a huge crowd and a lot of expectations. But after that, I will focus on the pitch because we need to make the right decisions and perform well by focusing on the main goal on the pitch.”
Besides, there are two other female referees on the brink of history as it seems they are about to officiate in the men’s Fifa World Cup in the coming days after Frappart.
Yamashita Yoshimi and Salima Mukansanga are among the 36 referees selected for the tournament, which ends December 18.
They will also be joined by Brazil’s and Mexico’s NewsPack’s Karen Diaz Medina and America’s Kathryn Nesbitt who head to the World Cup finals as three of the 69 assistant referees. Japan’s Yamashita is set to appear at her second consecutive World Cup finals after officiating the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. It also took charge of the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in 2021, in a match between the USA and Sweden.
Yamashita is another record-setting woman fronting the judges this year. She officiated the AFC Champions League between Melbourne City and Jeonnam Dragons in the J1 League match between FC Tokyo and Kyoto Sanga – becoming the first woman to do so.
The 36-year-old is eagerly looking forward to the World Cup finals and her chance to take center stage as a match referee.
“There are hardly any women referees in the Middle East, so I would like to see that change, with the World Cup in Qatar as a catalyst,” she said recently.
“The fact that women are heading up a men’s World Cup for the first time is a sign to others that the potential for women is always growing and that’s something I feel strongly about as well.”
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