French referee Stéphanie Frappart whistled the game involving Germany and Costa Rica in Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar to go down as the first ever female referee to take charge in a men’s World Cup encounter.
What made this occasion even more exceptional was the fact that the French woman was not the only woman dictating the play on the ground because she was accompanied by an all female refereeing team on the field. Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico were part of this trio as the assistant referees. To add to this, Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States also officiated as the offside specialist in the video review team.
Frappart didn’t make her appearance out of nowhere as she obviously carries a load of experience and this is evident in the fact that the 38 year old been picked previously for the role of a fourth official. In her home country she has already discharged her duties of refereeing men’s games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League. Stéphanie Frappart also officiated this year in the men’s French Cup final and the 2019 Women’s World Cup final for FIFA.
This is not going to be the only instance of a woman taking charge of the biggest sporting event under the sun and sky as FIFA has more plans of taking this trend forward in Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan who are going to follow the path of Frappart in days to come.