FIFA names first female refereeing trio for a men’s World Cup


As announced by FIFA on Tuesday (Nov 29), Stephanie Frappart, Neuza Back, and Karen Diaz will become the first all-female refereeing team for a men’s World Cup match when they referee Costa Rica-Germany on Thursday.

Frappart, the fourth official for the Poland-Mexico Group C clash last week, will be the main referee. She was the first female official to officiate a men’s World Cup qualifier in March and a Champions League match in 2020.

Neuza, a Brazilian, and Diaz, a Mexican, will assist the 38-year-old Frenchwoman.

The tournament in Qatar also includes Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yamashita Yoshimi.

According to Costa Rica manager Luis Fernando Suarez, Frappart’s appointment as match referee is a step forward for women in a “sexist sport.”

France’s Frappart will lead the first all-female refereeing team at a men’s World Cup in a match that Germany must win to remain in the competition.

Frappart’s commitment to achieve the top level in a male-dominated profession spoke volumes to Suarez.

“I admire everything women have conquered, and I like the way they want to keep conquering,” the 62-year-old Colombian said.

“This is another step forward. It speaks volumes for this woman, of her commitment, especially in such a sexist sport. The point that she has reached is not easy to reach, but I think it’s a positive step for football, showing that it is becoming more open to everyone.”

Frappart, 38, will be joined by Brazilian Neuza Back and Mexican Karen Diaz in setting another record for female officials as she also refereed a men’s World Cup qualifier in March. Last week, she became the first female official at a men’s World Cup when she was fourth official for the Poland v Mexico Group C tie, but she will be in the spotlight more on Thursday.

Celso Borges, Costa Rica’s midfielder, also welcomed her appointment.


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