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World Cup to feature female referees for the first time

AS USA logo AS USA 5/19/2022 Stats Perform
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 07: Referee Stephanie Frappart reacts during the French Final Cup match between OGC Nice and FC Nantes at Stade de France on May 07, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images) © Aurelien Meunier (Getty) PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 07: Referee Stephanie Frappart reacts during the French Final Cup match between OGC Nice and FC Nantes at Stade de France on May 07, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The 2022 Men’s World Cup will feature female referees for the first time in the competition’s history. FIFA announced on Thursday the list of 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials that have been chosen for the tournament, which is to be held in Qatar in November and December.

Three female referees, Stéphanie FrappartSalima Mukansanga and Yoshimi Yamashita, and three assistant referees, Neuza Back, Kathryn Nesbitt and Karen Díaz Medina, have been included.

Female firsts

Frappart has experience in top-level European football, becoming the first female to referee a Champions League match and Euros qualifiers, while she has also taken charge of Ligue 1 games. Mukansanga became the first woman to referee a match at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Yamashita was the first woman to officiate an AFC Champions League match.

Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said: “We are very happy that with Stéphanie Frappart from France, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, as well as assistant referees Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Díaz Medina from Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt from the USA, we have been able to call up female match officials for the first time in the history of a FIFA World Cup. This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men’s junior and senior tournaments. In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational. They deserve to be at the FIFA World Cup because they constantly perform at a really high level, and that’s the important factor for us.”

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